Five Percent Pay Cuts For Five Months At The St. Pete Times

Five for five has a nice ring to it, but in this case, it’s anything but happy: the St. Petersburg Times will cut its employees’ pay five percent for five months to save $1 million, Eric Deggans reports.

To cut the pain, somewhat, the paper is also offering its employees an extra five days of paid vacation.

“I regret the hardship this action will cause to staffers and their households, but it will give us time to judge the severity of this downturn, and to consider other options for reducing expenses on a permanent basis,” St. Petersburg Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash said in a letter to staff. “Those steps will likely include further job reductions.”

The paper is also lowering its severance cap to 26 weeks from 40 weeks.

Local competitor The Tampa Tribune, which is owned by Media General, laid off 29 employees in June, including 9 in the newsroom, and are asking employees to take 15 furlough days, Deggans reports.