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Times cuts employee pay 5 percent, reduces severance payments

Published Sep. 18, 2014

Pay for full-time employees at the Tampa Bay Times will be cut by 5 percent under a new cost-savings plan implemented by the newspaper starting Sept. 29.

Paul Tash, CEO and chairman of the Times, announced the cuts in a memo to employees Thursday, citing a difficult summer that resulted in lower than expected revenue. "Newspaper publishing remains a tough business," he wrote.

Anticipating job reductions as the company looks to reduce expenses, Tash said the company also will reduce its maximum severance payment from 13 weeks to eight weeks, starting Oct. 1. Before the company decides the level of job cuts, employees are being offered the option to leave voluntarily with full severance at current pay. The company would not say how many jobs it expects to cut.

"It hurts my heart," Tash wrote, that the pay reductions and downsizing will cause "disruption or hardship for people I care about. Against that disappointment, I draw encouragement from our extraordinary work and the great difference it makes every day in the lives of our readers, advertisers and communities."

The cutbacks come at a time when many newspaper companies are reducing costs in response to a sluggish economy and depressed advertising revenues.

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