St. Petersburg Times cuts staffers’ pay 5% for five months

St. Petersburg Times
Employees at the Poynter-owned paper will be given five additional days off, with pay, during the five-month period, reports Eric Deggans. The Times will save about $1 million in payroll costs with the move. CEO Paul Tash says there’s likely to be additional job cuts, and “with that in mind, the company is changing its severance policy, from the current maximum of 40 weeks’ pay to a new cap of 26 weeks – the equivalent of six months – starting October 1.” A 5 percent pay cut was also implemented in the fall of 2009. || On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Daily News offered buyouts [PDF] to Guild employees.
> St. Pete Times managing editor/presentation leaves the paper — again

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Roy-Peter-Clark/100000896693218 Roy Peter Clark

    Thank you @Reykjavik for your thoughtful questions.  Poynter is a school, not a foundation.  Federal tax law and the IRS required that only certain kinds of non-profit institutions could inherit the stock of a newspaper.  A school is one of them. Nelson Poynter intended that this school own the stock of his company and fund its programs from the dividends of those holdings.  During good times, these financial resources were substantial. But all boats sink on a low tide.  As we all know, the traditional business model for news has crumbled, influenced by new technologies and a deep and long recession — especially in Florida. Poynter owns the Times, but doesn’t run it.  Folks at both institutions are grateful for Nelson Poynter’s vision, especially his desire to put good journalism and public service ahead of profits.  That said, Nelson please return and help us figure out this mess.

  • Anonymous

    Given that the Times is owned by the Poynter Foundation and doesn’t quite have the same profit drivers as the rest of corporate America, what’s really behind this? Is it not generating enough income for the foundation or is in fact losing money? And since the newspaper hasn’t been operated the same way as chain papers, how fat or lean is it really? I’ve always thought it’s best to right-size an organization and not adversely impact the entire company instead of instituting austerity measures across the board. If there are too many bodies, then that’s not the fault of the employees whose positions aren’t excess (although it may be magnanimous of them to accept sacrifices to save the jobs of their coworkers).