The Poynter Institute for Media Studies that owns the Tampa Bay Times newspaper lost nearly $2 million in 2012, a smaller loss than the non-profit organization posted the year before.
St. Petersburg-based Poynter operates a journalism and media studies school from its waterfront campus. The Times newspaper’s patriarch, the late Nelson Poynter, set up that arrangement in the 1970s, in part to protect the Times from potential takeovers and to establish a school for professional journalists.
The year 2012 tax forms, posted Monday by Poynter, are the most current available. They show Poynter generated $5.9 million in revenue from donations and programs in 2012, which is up from $4.4 million the year before. Poynter cut expenses from $8.2 million in 2011 to $7.6 million in 2012. That still left the organization to post a loss of $1.7 million, compared to a loss of $3.8 million the year before.
Part of narrowing that loss came as the organization cut payroll and other employee compensation from $4.4 million to $3.9 million. Still, some salaries are several times the average household income in St. Petersburg. For instance, Paul Tash who serves in leadership roles at both Poynter and the Times, took in $505,843 in compensation, which included a $318,431 performance bonus. Other top-paid employees include Poynter Trustee Andrew Corty, who took in $333,538, and Trustee Andrew Barnes, who took in $233,217.
Through the year, Poynter’s savings and “temporary cash investments” fell from $2.7 million at the beginning of the year to $689,552.
The overall loss comes as Poynter has publicly stated that while the Times had financially supported Poynter in the past, the newspaper was no longer a “viable” source of support, and Poynter soon after hired a full-time fundraising chief to bolster its financial position.