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Times Hiring Copy Editors

Posted By Ester Venouziou, Monday, January 9, 2012
Word going around is that the Tampa Bay Times (previously named the St. Petersburg Times) is hiring copy editors.

They're in luck. A few months ago they laid off several copy editors, many of whom, I hear, are still looking for jobs. There's also a whole batch of displaced copy editors from the Tampa Tribune, many of whom were laid off right before Christmas.

Why lay off a bunch of people, only to hire new ones a few months later? What do I think of this, having being one of those laid off?

Well ...  my initial reaction goes along the lines of #&%@, aka WTF.

• • •

What happened is this: They cut the staff so that there were enough people still left to put out the paper, but not much wiggle room for anything else. So then when the first couple of people left on their own, for jobs elsewhere, things got ugly. When the next two or three left, it became unbearable. It was time to start hiring again.

So, now that I think about it, the
#&%@/WTF becomes ?????/WTF.

Did the corporate people in charge of things such as job cuts not think that maybe, just maybe, some people would end up leaving on their own? Didn't they look at attrition rates over the past year or two before deciding how many jobs they had to eliminate?

I've heard of this happening before, at respected papers including the Miami Herald and the Washington Post. They over-cut and are left short-staffed. They decide to hire again. They even hire back some of the copy editors they had laid off just a few months earlier. BUT — and this is huge — they hire them at salaries 15-25+ percent lower than what they were previously getting.

• • •

I'm happy to see that the Times is hiring again. The only way to ensure that it continues to be one of the top news sources in the Tampa Bay area and one of the most respected newspapers in the country is by being fully-staffed with smart, creative, dedicated journalists.

My hope is that the Times considers hiring back some of its displaced copy editors and offer them the same salary and benefits they were making when they worked there before. Or if they find better qualified candidates, to offer them the job, but not low-ball them on salary, not take advantage of the dismal job market out there.

This is an opportunity for the Times to do what's right, and set the new standards for media companies around the country.

It might cost them a little more, but imagine the positive PR they'd get.

Are you starting over after a layoff? We want to hear your story! Please email us at, and include your story and contact info. We will try to include as many stories as possible in future blogs.

Ester Venouziou, founder of, is available for freelance projects: writing, editing, design or social media. She can be reached at or 727.637.5586.

• • •

The job advertised is full-time, in the downtown St. Pete office. Here's what they're looking for, via

Description Edits copy and writes display type.
Typically has up to five years of experience.
Grasp of how design and content work together to form cohesive packages. 
Basic understanding of text editing system, photo system and other technical tools.
Understanding of design basics. Grasp of how design and content work together to form cohesive packages.
Knowledge of the news and subject. 
Knows how to get information from the Internet and other sources
Technical editing skills (spelling, grammar, syntax, Times style).
Content editing skills (accuracy, libel, taste, tone, fairness, clarity, relevance, completeness, story structure and trimming).
Ability to meet deadlines. 
Basic ability to delineate between significant and minor matters.
Ability to respond well to coaching.

Tags:  copy editors  newspaper layoffs  st. pete times hiring  st. petersburg times layoffs  tampa bay times hiring 

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