Layoffs At St. Petersburg Times

Up to eight people at the Poynter Institute-owned St. Petersburg Times have been laid off.

The news broke on the Romenesko+ blog on Poynter.org.

The tenor of the memo from executive editor Neil Brown makes it seem as if more layoffs could come:

The nature of the St. Pete Times — we are privately held and strongly believe in discretion around personnel matters — means there is little we can share beyond the periodic notes of farewell. While the staff will be somewhat smaller, we remain committed to producing a first-class metropolitan newspaper and Web site that puts service to the residents of Tampa Bay as our top priority…The economy affords us no guarantees, but we hope to wrap up these staffing decisions by the middle of October and then move forward and fully focus on great journalism the rest of the year and in 2012.

We’re told separately by a tipster that the layoffs have come in drips and drabs, one or two a day for the past week, with more to come later.

In September, the paper instituted five months of a five percent pay cut.