Tampa Bay Times staffers told 5 percent pay reduction will last until May
When staffers at the Tampa Bay Times took a 5 percent pay cut last year, they were told it would last until January, developed to save $1-million in five months.
But on Tuesday, Times CEO and Chairman Paul Tash released a memo stating the reductions would be extended to May, allowing executives four months in 2012 to judge if the newspaper's revenues are growing again.
"Despite the extension, we still regard this measure as temporary," Tash said in the memo. "I thank you deeply for your patience and pledge that we will not draw upon it any longer than necessary."
Full time hourly and salaried staffers will get four extra days off with pay to be taken between Feb. 1 and May 31. Because the days off are with pay, they are not the same as compulsory furloughs implemented by other companies.
Below is the full text of the internal memo from Tash:
"We need to extend the temporary 5 percent pay reduction -- and the extra days off -- a while longer.
Last September, when this trade off took effect, we said it would last through this month. Since then, we have made strong financial progress. The expense reductions have clearly worked, but as 2011 came to a close, signals about revenue were mixed.
When it is clear that Times' revenues are growing again, our pay as staffers can grow, too. To me, general economic signs seem a little more encouraging, and I firmly believe that the Tampa Bay Times will command a steadily greater share of newspaper publishing revenue. The launch is off to a terrific start.
We will take stock of our position again in May, when we have results for the first four months of 2012 (including Easter), and will report back to you then. Despite the extension, we still regard this measure as temporary. While it continues, you will keep getting an extra day off per month.
I thank you deeply for your patience, and I pledge that we will not draw upon it any longer than necessary. As staffers, the best thing we can do is take every possible dollar of revenue for the Tampa Bay Times. That is the route to success for the company, and for ourselves.