Tampa Bay Times restores salaries, ending temporary 5% pay cut

In a memo to staff, CEO Paul Tash announced today that Tampa Bay Times employees will have their pay restored starting July 2, after a temporary five percent pay cut lasted twice as long as planned.

Employees at the Poynter-owned paper had their pay cut in September 2011; the plan was to restore those salaries to their original amounts after five months; instead, the cuts were extended an extra five months.

The latest figures show the Times was the only Florida newspaper to grow daily circulation, though that figure includes circulation of free tabloid tbt*, reports Times staff writer Jeff Harrington. Sunday circulation also grew. The rate of circulation growth accelerated, Times VP Joe DeLuca told Deggans, after the Times changed its name from the St. Petersburg Times in January.

Here’s the memo:

To: My Times Colleagues

From: Paul Tash

I am delighted to report this news: we are ending the temporary 5 percent pay reduction we put in place last September. The change takes effect Monday, July 2, and will show up in paychecks on Friday, July 13.

The Tampa Bay Times continues to attract new readers, and there are encouraging signs that advertisers are following them to Florida’s favorite newspaper. This decision represents a bet that we can keep those trend lines headed in the right direction, and that we can keep finding ways to reduce other expenses.

With pay restored, of course, we will provide no more extra days off, but we are giving staffers an extra month — through June 30 — to use any days they have remaining.

In this fragile economy, I cannot promise that there is only smooth sailing ahead. But your dedication and commitment have kept the Times moving forward, no matter what. I thank each of you for your contributions to our collective success. Now, let’s redouble our efforts to accelerate our gains.

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