TAMPA BAY, FL – Starting in March, the Tampa Bay Times will transfer its printing,
packaging and trucking operation to the Gannett company’s plant in Lakeland. The change
comes as the Times continues to navigate the coronavirus pandemic amid declining
advertising sales and persistent weakness in the global economy.
Outsourcing the printing of its flagship newspaper and affiliate publications also will result
in the closure and eventual sale of the Times’ printing plant on 34th Street N in St. Petersburg
and the loss of jobs for 150 employees. Staffers who remain will take a temporary 10 percent
pay cut as the company makes the transition.
The Times joins a long list of newspapers around the country that have consolidated printing
efforts to improve efficiencies and lower costs while continuing to produce strong
“This is a hard decision, but it helps position the Times for the future as a vibrant news
company in a media landscape that is increasingly digital,” Chairman and CEO Paul Tash
Aside from a slightly more narrow page, readers will see little change in the printed product.
Home delivery subscribers and retail locations will continue to receive their papers on
Wednesdays and Sundays delivered by Times staffers and independent contractors.
In April, the Times reduced its print schedule to twice-a-week in response to steep declines in
advertising due to the coronavirus pandemic. Concurrently, the company expanded its e-Newspaper, published electronically every day, and website, tampabay.com. Since then,
digital subscriptions and traffic to tampabay.com are growing steadily.
“Thousands of readers, even some who were leery of it, have discovered the advantages of
the e-Newspaper,” Tash said. “It seems unlikely that we will return to printing the paper
seven days a week, but our commitment to news has increased. We are relying on electronic
delivery, and we can give our readers more news.”
The Tampa Bay Times is widely considered one of the Top Ten newspapers in America and
has won 12 Pulitzer Prizes. It is Florida’s largest newspaper and publishes tampabay.com –
Tampa Bay’s largest local news Web site. Additionally, the company publishes the free
weekly tbt*, an edition of the Tampa Bay Times, and Bay magazine.