Staffers at Media General-owned Tampa Tribune and WFLA-Ch. 8 learned Tuesday that 31 jobs would be eliminated from their newsrooms by the year's end, as the company ramps up "convergence" efforts uniting the two news-gathering operations amid growing economic challenges.
At the Tribune, 11 staffers are to be notified Wednesday they will be laid off, with 10 more job cuts coming in the next 12 weeks or so, said Tribune editor Janet Coats.
Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA will lose 10 positions by year's end, including three people who took a buyout offer previously extended by the company and two on-air people whose contracts were not renewed, weather forecaster Mace Michaels and reporter Claudia DeCampo.
The cuts were smaller than the 60 newsroom positions predicted by some news reports, though Media General has already disclosed it expects to eliminate 250 jobs this year from its Florida outlets, which include the Tribune, WFLA, TBO.com, Hernando Today and a host of other, smaller newspapers.
By year's end, Coats expects the Tribune's newsroom staffing to total just over 200 people, with 75 positions or so at WFLA. News outlets throughout Florida and nationwide have announced large numbers of job reductions this year due to a severe recession in the industry.