Scattered Clouds74° WeatherScattered Clouds74° Weather

The Feed

Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

WFLA-Ch. 8 loses 11 a.m. news, Tampa Tribune closes bureaus in cost-cutting reorganization

31

March

Guyardo150x190 WFLA-Ch. 8 anchor Gayle Guyardo wasn't surprised to hear that the station had decided to eliminate its 11 a.m. newscast as part of a massive cost-cutting reorganization.

Guyardo said the idea first surfaced at least six months ago, as executives balanced the resources required to present the broadcast with the dwindling advertising revenue it was generating.

"There's not a lot of eyes watching TV at that hour," she said. "We even didn't have midday newscast until five years ago. So this just feels like we're going back to that time."

The canceled newscast was just one among a host of expense-slashing initiatives revealed today to staffers at Media General's Florida news outlets, including WFLA, the Tampa Tribune and TBO.com. According to a story on TBO.com -- almost no Media General official in Florida has returned my calls to confirm additional information -- here's what's coming:

Slimtribunemonday The Tampa Tribune's Saturday newspaper will be a one-section paper.

The Tribune's Sunday BayLife section will be eliminated.

The publications Skirt and Flair will end.

The company will close news bureaus, selling the Brandon and Plant City offices.

WFLA's 10 p.m. newscast created for WTTA-Ch. 38 ends at the end of April.

This news came one day after Media General eliminated just over 200 jobs across the company, including 65 positions in Florida. When asked about rumors that high-level employees under contract at the TV station were asked to take pay cuts, Guyardo said she agreed to take a two-week furlough in an effort to help avoid layoffs.

The anchor expects to spend more time writing for the newspaper's publications such as the health insert 4 You and developing taped stories for the morning newscast.

"In the past, (convergence) was something that looked good on paper, but we rarely put into play . . . Now we are," she said. "Right now, there's this dark cloud around us -- you never know what good friends you might have to say goodbye to the next day. But I'm convinced we'll get through this . . . things will come back around."

*

    

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:56pm]

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...