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Former editor sues Tribune

It is the second time the journalist has filed an age discrimination lawsuit in Tampa.

Published January 18, 2007


TAMPA - A former Tampa Tribune editor has filed a lawsuit against the newspaper and its parent company, saying he was demoted and ultimately fired because of his age.

This is the second time Pat Minarcin has filed an age discrimination suit. He sued his former employer, WTSP-Ch. 10, in 1999 and was awarded more than $280,000 in back pay and damages by an arbitration judge.

Janet Weaver, the Tribune's executive editor, referred questions to a lawyer for Media General Inc., the Richmond-based company that owns the newspaper. The lawyer could not be reached, and a Media General spokesman said no one from the company would comment.

According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Minarcin, 61, was hired by the Tribune in December 1999. He was promoted to senior editor two years later.

While at the Tribune, he supervised a team of reporters assigned to cover the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and was later put in charge of the special projects team, which focused on investigative journalism.

During his tenure at the Tribune, Minarcin's salary increased from $55,055 to $97,366 by the time he was terminated in 2005.

Minarcin said he received exemplary marks in all of his performance reviews. But in mid-July 2005, Weaver informed him he would be removed as special projects editor and assigned to a lesser editing position at a reduced salary, the lawsuit said.

When Minarcin expressed his desire to apply for one of three senior editor positions in August, he was told he would not be considered by Weaver and Managing Editor Richard Maas.

Minarcin said the only explanation he was given was that he was "slowing down and unable to keep a lot of balls in the air."

In September, Minarcin filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He said he was fired a short time later.

At the time of Minarcin's termination, less than 20 percent of the Tribune's 300 news personnel were older than 50, the lawsuit said. Minarcin was one of only three employees in their 60s.

Minarcin was previously an anchor for WSTP-Ch. 10 and anchored the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts from 1994 to 1998. He sued after the station replaced him with then-38-year-old Reginald Roundtree.

Asked if the previous suit might affect Minarcin's claim against the Tribune, his attorney said no.

"Each case is considered on its own merits," said Michael Alden, Minarcin's North Carolina-based attorney.

Minarcin could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Carrie Weimar can be reached at 813 226-3416 or

[Last modified January 18, 2007, 05:59:39]

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