Times Publishing Co. announced Wednesday it will outsource printing of its newspapers starting in March and will close its own production facility in St. Petersburg. The proceeds from the sale of the production facility, which occupies 27 acres in the center of St. Petersburg, will be used to pay down debt and make a contribution to the paper's pension plan.
The company has signed a three-year agreement with Gannett to print the Tampa Bay Times at its operations center in Lakeland.
About 90 full-time and 60 part-time workers will lose their jobs when the transition is complete, although some may be hired by Gannett in Lakeland, which is expanding its operations team.
In addition, the Times said full-time employees whose jobs are not affected will take a temporary pay cut of 10 percent for up to six months, while the transition takes place. Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash is reducing his own salary by 20 percent.
“The news business was already shifting toward digital delivery, and the pandemic put that change into overdrive,” said Tash. “This is a hard decision, and we feel it keenly. But it helps position the Times for the future as a vibrant news company in a media landscape that is increasingly digital.”