Chairman Paul Tash has extended 5 percent pay cuts for Tampa Bay Times employees through May, at least. The pay cuts were announced in September as a temporary move to reduce expenses. In his memo announcing the extension, Tash — who is also chairman of Poynter, which owns the Times — writes, “Despite the extension, we will still regard this measure as temporary.” (Memo follows.)
January 17, 2012
To: My Times Colleagues
From: Paul Tash
We need to extend the temporary 5 percent pay reduction — and the extra days off — a while longer.
Last September, when this trade-off took effect, we said it would last through this month. Since then, we have made strong financial progress. The expense reductions have clearly worked, but as 2011 came to a close, signals about revenue were mixed.
When it is clear that Times’ revenues are growing again, our pay as staffers can grow, too. To me, general economic signs seem a little more encouraging, and I firmly believe that the Tampa Bay Times will command a steadily greater share of newspaper publishing revenue. The launch is off to a terrific start.
We will take stock of our position again in May, when we have results for the first four months of 2012 (including Easter), and will report back to you then. Despite the extension, we will still regard this measure as temporary. While it continues, you will keep getting an extra day off per month.
I thank you deeply for your patience, and I pledge that we will not draw upon it any longer than necessary. As staffers, the best thing we can do is take every possible dollar of revenue for the Tampa Bay Times. That is the route to success for the company, and for ourselves.