Veteran statehouse reporter Tia Mitchell is leaving the Tampa Bay Times’ Tallahassee bureau to rejoin the Jacksonville Times Union.
A Louisville, Kentucky native, Tia Mitchell announced Monday she had been named the Times-Union‘s Tallahassee bureau chief. The the opportunity to reestablish the Times-Union’s presence at the state capitol requires Mitchell to say goodbye to some coworkers, she had been with the Times for three years and her tweet Monday morning included a sad face emoticon.
A 2001 graduate of Florida A&M University, Mitchell has written for the Times/ Herald since 2011. While at FAMU she interned at the Tallahassee Democrat and worked for the Times-Union before joining the Times. In an email exchange Mitchell indicated she was making the move with a mix of joy and sadness.
“I’m sad to leave the Times and the awesome people there, but I’m excited to return to the Times-Union,” she wrote.
Mitchell’s move comes as the Times is experiencing a period of uncertainty. Last month, the newspaper announced it was cutting staff pay by five percent. That reduction showed up in Friday’s paycheck. According to the Alliance for Audited Media, circulation for Sunday’s edition was down 1 percent and weekday down nearly 7 percent for March when compared to last year.
When announcing the pay cut, CEO Paul Tash also advised staff that the company would also reduce severance pay for employees who voluntarily left the company to eight weeks, from a maximum of 13 starting Oct.1.
“If you are uncertain about your standing with the Times, this is a good time for a frank conversation with your supervisor,” Tash wrote in a memo to staff. “If this long, difficult stretch has tested your commitment to the Times or the newspaper business, this is a good time to consider your options.”