Saturday, May 26, 2018
Business

Poynter Institute, owner of Tampa Bay Times, lost $2.26 million in 2014

ST. PETERSBURG — The Poynter Institute, owner of the Tampa Bay Times, continued to lose money in 2014 but began to stanch the flow through cost reductions and new revenue-producing programs and partnerships.

For the year ended in December, the nonprofit journalism institute reported losses of $2.26 million compared with nearly $3.5 million in the previous year.

"We still have much work to do, but we've built a lot of momentum in recent months that puts us on course to long-term sustainability,'' Poynter president Tim Franklin said Friday.

Details of the 2014 results were included in Poynter's annual tax filing to the IRS.

In a news release, the institute said it expects to report a surplus on its 2015 tax filing, due next fall, because of income from the sale of an office building in Seminole and some unused property adjacent to its St. Petersburg campus.

Poynter officials said revenues rose "significantly" last year in all categories, including foundation grants, advertising, individual contributions and training of journalists at major media and technology companies including Google, Gannett and the Associated Press.

The institute, which is increasing its international teaching work, also was selected to conduct training for Fulbright Scholars and participants in the Edward R. Murrow Program for journalists. Recently, Poynter became the home of the International Fact-Checking Network, a group of 75 organizations that fact-check statements of public officials.

(The Times, a for-profit company whose tax returns are not public, created the Pulitzer-Prize winning fact-checking project PolitiFact.)

Among the Poynter Institute's other new revenue-generating ventures are a speaker series with nationally known media figures, and Innovation Lab @Poynter, a suite of offices for digital startup firms. Early next year Poynter expects to unveil a redesign of its website, poynter.org, and a remake of its e-learning platform, News University.

"Poynter is transforming itself for the digital age,'' said Franklin, who received a total of $221,173 in compensation last year. The institute's tax filing shows that Poynter's chairman, Paul Tash, received $503,900 last year from the Times, where he is chairman and CEO. In 2013, Tash received a total of $516,040 in compensation.

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