Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Business

Questions, answers about Tampa Tribune sale

Why did Media General sell the Tampa Tribune?

A publicly traded media group, Richmond, Va.-based Media General decided to exit newspapers and focus on what it sees as a more profitable niche in broadcast and digital properties. It sold most of its newspaper portfolio to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, but the Tribune was excluded from that deal.

Who is Revolution Capital Group?

A private equity investment group based in Los Angeles. Formed in 2009, it has made relatively few investments to date, including a medical apparel company, a software firm and a manufacturer of ribbons, bows and ties. This is its first newspaper acquisition.

What is the purchase price?

The sale price is $9.5 million. However, after adjusting for working capital and other items, Media General said it is yielding net proceeds before expenses of approximately $2 million.

What's included in the deal?

The newly named Tampa Media Group will have 618 employees and will continue to operate the Tampa Tribune as well as affiliated publications Hernando Today, Highlands Today, Suncoast News, Sunbelt Newspapers and the Spanish-language publication Centro. The deal also includes tbo.com.

What happens with Media General's other property, WFLA-Ch. 8?

WFLA, remaining under the Media General fold, will continue a news partnership with the Tribune though no longer share ownership nor a combined news operation. The Tribune newsroom will move out of a building in downtown Tampa that it now shares with WFLA and into a building next door where the newspaper used to operate.

What about other Tribune assets and liabilities?

Media General did not explicitly address what real estate and assets are included. The Hillsborough Property Appraiser's Office says the land where the News Center and old Tribune building sit is valued at $3.7 million, but does not break down the value of each parcel. Plus, there are millions of dollars in buildings, equipment and other assets. The old Tribune building at 202 S Parker Street has a depreciated value of $935,000 and includes $6.4 million in equipment. Nor were liabilities such as future pension payouts discussed. However, when Media General previously sold the bulk of its newspaper holdings to Berkshire Hathaway, it retained pension liabilities.

What will happen to the newspaper?

The owners said they want to increase the circulation and add more local content. However, they also want to focus on digital news and said the newspaper will be half of what they do.

What will happen to the existing employees' salaries and benefits?

The ownership owner told employees on Monday that their salaries and benefits will stay the same until the end of the year.

Do the new owners plan to hire additional employees?

The owners said they will analyze the staff before making any hiring decisions. They noted that hiring more people may not be the best way to grow the paper.

Will Bill Barker stay on as the Tribune's publisher?

Yes. Media General named him publisher in May. He had been the Tribune's vice president of operations and circulation since 2004 and had worked with Media General since 1990.

What is the status of Media General's inquiry to Tampa about splitting its property overlooking the Hillsborough River?

Pending. Media General is looking to split its properties at the Tribune's old building, and the News Center, which is the home of NBC affiliate WFLA-Ch. 8. Once the public comment period closes this week, the city must make its determination within 30 days.

Times staff writers Jeff Harrington, Susan Thurston, Robert Trigaux and Richard Danielson contributed to this report.

Comments
Guess co-founder steps aside after allegations from Kate Upton

Guess co-founder steps aside after allegations from Kate Upton

Associated PressNEW YORK — Guess Inc. says that co-founder Paul Marciano will give up his day-to-day responsibilities at the clothing company until a sexual misconduct investigation is completed. Model and actress Kate Upton told Time magazine earlie...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

TAMPA — More than two decades after the last bunch arrived on shore, bananas are back at Tampa’s port. More than 3,900 pallets of Chiquita bananas from Ecuador arrived last week at the new Port Logistics Refrigerated Services warehouse.It was the fir...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Grocery retailer Albertsons to buy drugstore chain Rite Aid

Grocery retailer Albertsons to buy drugstore chain Rite Aid

Associated PressThe privately held owner of Safeway, Vons and other grocery brands is plunging deeper into the pharmacy business with a deal to buy Rite Aid, the nation’s third-largest drugstore chain. Albertsons Companies is offering either a share ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Following deaths from Irma, Florida looks to new rules for keeping nursing homes cool after outages

Following deaths from Irma, Florida looks to new rules for keeping nursing homes cool after outages

After national headlines and a public outcry over the deaths of 14 people at a Broward County nursing home after Hurricane Irma, nursing homes across the state are working to comply with new rules requiring them to have back-up power.But the process ...
Published: 02/20/18
Yoshi — car maintenance that comes to you — launches in Tampa Bay

Yoshi — car maintenance that comes to you — launches in Tampa Bay

A California-based company that promises to bring limited on-site car maintenance directly to you — from an oil change to a fill-up — has picked Tampa Bay as its next pit stop."Anything that your car needs, we’re going to bring to you," said Nick Ale...
Published: 02/20/18

Pasco Business Digest for Feb. 23

Business digestBrieflyLOCAL COMMUNITY RECOGNIZED: CHUY’S RESTAURANT TO OPEN: Chuy’s, the Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant, will open its first Tampa Bay area location this spring near Cypress Creek Town Center in Wesley Chapel. The restaurant at 25750...
Published: 02/20/18
Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

When Cedar Hames spoke, you listened.He was a natural storyteller, always dressed sharp to match his wit and natural elegance. He grew a two-person business in St. Petersburg into a leading tourism, advertising and marketing agency over an esteemed 3...
Updated: 7 hours ago
St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — Speaking in front of a small crowd gathered on the front lawn of the city’s main library, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Monday that the facility will get a $6 million renovation and be renamed in honor of President Barack Obama.The a...
Published: 02/19/18
Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

DUNEDIN –– Pinellas sheriff’s detectives spent their weekend luring in unlicensed electrical, plumbing and other home improvement contractors to a vacant home wired with cameras.It took only hours before a stream of people arrived to work on the outd...
Published: 02/19/18
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

TAMPA — Tampa Electric Co. is formally contesting the biting citation the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration handed down in December for a maintenance incident in June that left five workers dead.At a meeting with the Tampa Bay Tim...
Published: 02/19/18