Tampa Bay Times will cut five days of print starting next week as ad revenues plummet

March 30, 2020

The Tampa Bay Times announced Monday that it would suspend print publication except for Sunday and Wednesday due to coronavirus-related business losses. The publication, which Poynter owns, will furlough some staff while print days are suspended.

In a story published to the Tampa Bay Times website, the Times said a growth in subscriptions has not been enough to overcome advertising losses stemming from the pandemic that are devastating the media industry. 

The company reported a surge in traffic to its website — tampabay.com — and growth in digital subscriptions over the last few weeks, but those gains are not strong enough to make up for advertising losses.

In a memo to staff, Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash outlined the advertising losses. 

At the Times, the pandemic sent advertising sales into a plunge. In just the last two weeks, cancellations have cost us more than $1 million, and there is no sign of quick recovery on the horizon. We must act now.

Poynter media business analyst Rick Edmonds spoke with Tash for a Q&A about the print reduction and furloughs.