Media General Death Watch – March 31, 2009

Media General Lays Off 53 Today In Tampa Offices

No uptick, the guy says. Are they freakin’ clueless or what?


By RICHARD MULLINS | The Tampa Tribune

Published: March 30, 2009

The Florida Communications Group Monday laid off 53 employees and eliminated 12 open positions due to continuing declines in the local advertising market, executives said.

“The various economic drivers of our business continue to be off and we’ve just not seen any uptick whatsoever,” said John Schueler, president of FCG, part of Media General Inc.

FCG operates The Tampa Tribune, and WFLA News Channel 8. In addition, the company ceased publishing the Flair and Skirt lifestyle publications. Other specialty publications are also under review, and the company is considering closing some news bureaus, Schueler said.

One of the employees now out of a job is WFLA sports anchor Dave Reynolds.

Most of the laid-off employees worked in operations rather than newsrooms, which have seen their own layoffs in the last 12 months.

The company also added three more unpaid furlough days to the existing 10 furlough days all employees must take by the end of the third quarter.

After the cuts, FCG will employ 1,047 people, and it remains profitable, Schueler said.

Reporter Richard Mullins can be reached at (813) 259-7919.

Thanks to a FB friend for the tip off.