Media General has laid off 75 employees from its corporate staff and digital media division, according to Tampa Bay Online (TBO.com), which is part of Media General. In May, Media General announced a $142 million deal to sell 63 newspapers to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway outfit. It looks to sell its one remaining paper, The Tampa Tribune.
Media General owns 18 TV stations.
"We changed from a company with revenues of $616 million in 2011 and approximately 4,000 employees to one that will have revenues this year of about $350 million and about 1,400 employees working at our television stations," Marshall Morton, Media General's president and chief executive, said in a memo to employees. "The resources that were necessary to support our larger organization are not justifiable in our smaller, more focused company."
Morton has spoken about the company's new focus as a pure-play broadcaster. "We like the opportunity it affords us to focus on TV," Morton told B&C after the newspaper sale. "We think there are some opportunities there for us in broadcast and mobile, which maybe we didn't have when you have a broader array of capital projects to support."
In a memo to staffers that appears on the media blog JimRomenesko.com, Morton thanked the affected people for their service. "Today is a difficult day here in Richmond," he said.