The Tampa Bay Times is temporarily reducing its print schedule to publish only on Sundays and Wednesdays, due to a decline in advertising caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” CEO-chairman Paul C. Tash wrote in a memo to staff.
Sundays and Wednesdays are the biggest circulation and advertising days for the Tampa Bay Times.
The changes will go into effect Monday, April 6.
The Times will temporarily furlough some staff (mostly production and delivery departments) for eight weeks, and reduce working hours for others.
The Times will continue to publish an electronic edition of the newspaper every day at tampabaytimes.com.
The company reported a surge in traffic to its website, with “double or triple its previous volume" in the past few weeks, and digital subscription sales are “accelerating,” according to Tash.
The Times will beef up its Sunday print edition, with a tabloid section featuring a week’s worth of puzzles and games.
The Times will also bring back the "Perspective" section with opinions and columns, starting Sunday, April 12.
“These extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures,” Tash was quoted in the newspaper “What doesn’t change is our commitment to our readers and our community.”
“For the time being, we have to change how we deliver the news, but readers can still get every bit of coverage online at tampabay.com and in our electronic edition," he said.
The Los Angeles Times is also enacting changes to its print production, cutting print sections as advertisers pull back. For example, Monday-Friday editions will combine Main News and Business sections, as well as California and Sports. Sunday editions will also combine those sections, as well as Food, Calendar and Arts & Books.