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Tribune trims newsroom staff by five

By COLLEEN JENKINS
Published April 12, 2007


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TAMPA  

The Tampa Tribune laid off five members of its newsroom Wednesday, including well-known movie critic Bob Ross, features columnist Judy Hill and a veteran reporter in Citrus County, Jim Tunstall.

The layoffs were part of a wider trimming of the newspaper, which announced Tuesday that it would eliminate about 70 jobs.

Janet Weaver, the paper's executive editor and vice president, said managers cut positions with an eye toward keeping strong local news coverage and enhancing the online product.

Ross and Hill had been with the paper for 21 years and 19 years, respectively.

The paper will no longer produce local movie criticism. It will run reviews from other sources, Weaver said.

Tunstall, the Tribune's only reporter in Citrus, went to jail in Hernando County in 1983 for refusing to divulge the identity of a confidential source.

A sports department team leader based in Tampa and a photo lab manager rounded out the dismissed staffers.

Most layoffs at the newspaper will be in circulation, customer service and classified advertising telephone sales, company officials said. The measures come at a time of dwindling advertising and circulation in the newspaper industry.

The decisionmaking process centered on preserving reporter and photographer positions, Weaver said.

"We wanted to keep feet on the street," she said.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at 813 226-3337 or cjenkins@sptimes.com.

[Last modified April 12, 2007, 01:14:43]


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