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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Tampa Tribune Announces Plans for Product Enhancements and Performance Improvements

TAMPA, Fla. –The Tampa Tribune today announced plans for several product changes and cost reductions to align operations more closely with readers’ and advertisers’ evolving needs.   

“All of our changes are designed to advance our mission to serve Tampa Bay as the leading information provider,” said Denise Palmer, president and publisher of The Tampa Tribune. “We know from research that our readers want news that is hyper-local and useful to their daily lives. We plan to provide more focused products to better serve changing reader and advertiser needs. At the same time, we will accelerate efforts to operate more efficiently,” said Ms. Palmer.

The newspaper will consolidate certain operations and outsource others. As a result, there will be a reduction of approximately 70 staff positions at The Tampa Tribune. Affected employees will be informed over the next few days. Full-time employees will be offered severance packages. “Our decision to part with valued employees was difficult, and we very much appreciate the contributions of all those who will be affected by today’s announcement,” said Ms. Palmer. The Tampa Tribune currently has approximately 1,335 employees.

“Our newspaper is experiencing the challenges of changing reader needs and fundamental shifts in spending by our traditional advertisers. We are reducing resources in areas that are in decline and investing in areas of growth, including local news and the Internet,” she said.

Over the next several months, The Tampa Tribune plans a number of changes to the daily newspaper. The changes will include combining the Friday Baylife section into the Friday Extra section. “The combined section will provide readers all the information they need to plan their weekend,” Ms. Palmer said. “On Sunday, we will realign certain sections of the newspaper to improve ease of use and reduce costs.”

The Tampa Tribune will also transition the content of its geographically-zoned sections into its community newspapers that better provide highly local news and better connect readers and advertisers. The Tribune also will launch a number of hyper-local and interactive community Web sites as extensions of

The newspaper will reduce its page width by one-half inch, or a reduction of four percent, this fall to make the product easier to handle. The change will also reduce newsprint expense. Distribution of The Tampa Tribune in Citrus, Manatee and Hardee counties, which are outside its core market, will be discontinued.

To help facilitate these improvements, The Tampa Tribune has invested approximately $16 million in capital improvements over recent years, including a new shared editorial and advertising system and tools for Web partner These improvements facilitate content sharing and improve reader functions such as Internet search. In addition, the new tools will enable readers to contribute content and interact with the papers more easily.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties and should be understood in the context of the company’s publicly available reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Media General’s future performance could differ materially from its current expectations.

About Media General
Media General is a multimedia company operating leading newspapers, television stations and online enterprises primarily in the Southeastern United States. The company ’s publishing assets include three metropolitan newspapers, The Tampa Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Winston-Salem Journal; 22 daily community newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina; and more than 150 weekly newspapers and other publications. The company’s broadcasting assets include 23 network-affiliated television stations that reach more than 32 percent of the television households in the Southeast and nearly 9.5 percent of those in the United States. The company’s interactive media assets include more than 75 online enterprises that are associated with its newspapers and television stations. Media General also owns a 33 percent interest in SP Newsprint Company, a manufacturer of recycled newsprint.

Ray Kozakewicz
(804) 649-6748