Food editor Janet Keeler could be next staffer to leave the Times

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Tampa Bay Times food and travel editor Janet Keeler could be the next high- profile staffer to jump ship from St. Petersburg’s troubled daily newspaper.

Founder of the online foodie community #CookClub, Keeler is the author of Cookielicious: 150 Fabulous Recipes to Bake and Share.

Keeler, who has been with the Times since 1992, may leave for an expanded role at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She currently serves as an adjunct instructor in the USFSP Journalism and Media Studies Department, which in the fall 2014 launched an ambitious graduate certificate program specializing in Food Writing and Photography.

Keeler’s departure comes in the wake of recent announcements by enterprise editor Bill Duryea and reporter Michael Kruse, who are leaving the Times for similar roles at POLITICO.

Many of these moves can be directly traced to the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, legal owner of the Times, which last week reported losing nearly $3.5 million in 2013 — the third consecutive year of million-dollar-plus losses.

To stem the bleeding of cash, this year Poynter and the Times offered employee buyouts in an effort to trim its overall workforce by as much as 10 percent. Since then, more than two dozen staff writers, reporters, editors and others accepted buyouts, including Florida culture writer Jeff Klinkenberg, sports journalist Gary Shelton, reporter Joe Childs and city editor Heather Urquides.

Beginning in October, the paper began staff layoffs.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.