Will the Tampa Tribune soon feature just one section on weekdays?
My inbox has been buzzing with rumors that the Tampa Tribune may soon begin publishing as a one-section broadsheet newspaper weekdays, with very few stories "jumping" or continuing off the front page. Under this scenario, weekend papers would remain the same and some specialized sections might also publish on Wednesdays.
I asked Tribune Executive Editor Janet Coats about the rumor, and she declined to speak about specifics.
"We're looking at a number of options regarding resectioning and redesigning," said Coats, who noted she expected conversations on possible options to gain steam in Tampa and at owner Media General's Richmond, Va., headquarters after Labor Day.
"I think everybody's looking at paging," she added, noting the impact of redesigns at Tribune Co. newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and Chicago Tribune. "Changes to the paper that we deliver, you're constantly looking at that now. But that's one of those things where, when we come to a final decision, I'll be talking my readers and not yours first."
The news comes amid a tremendous amount of change in the newspaper industry, locally and elsewhere. The Tribune laid off three photojournalists Thursday, with plans to lay off up to 10 editors by the beginning of October (the number may be lower, because some people have voluntarily left the staff recently for new opportunities).
At the St. Petersburg Times, some of the last folks who took advantage of our enhanced retirement buyout left the staff today; 26 people in our newsroom took advantage of the program, among 201 people leaving overall. That means our total full-time journalism staff is now at 320 people, down from about 400 five years ago.
In South Florida, competitors the Miami Herald, The Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beach Post have announced a three-month trial to share "routine news and features." Miami Herald executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal said the shared stories will be "something that's happened in the last 24 hours or is about to happen in the next 24 hours."
So things are changing everywhere. I guess I'll just have to keep my eyes sharp and inbox uncluttered.