The feds granted a a trio of news outlets millions of dollars in small-business rescue loans as the coronavirus crisis battered the media industry.
The Seattle Times, the Tampa Bay Times and political news website Axios received multimillion-dollar, government-backed loans through the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which aims to help small businesses retain jobs amid the pandemic.
The Seattle Times Co. got $9.9 million that will reportedly help its eponymous newspaper avoid laying off workers and cutting hours during the crisis, according to company president and chief financial officer Alan Fisco.
“This is a lifeline for us for the next 60 days,” Fisco told the paper Tuesday. “This gives us a little bit of breathing room.”
Times Publishing Company, the parent of the Tampa Bay Times and other local newspapers and magazines, got an $8.5 million loan as its flagship paper reportedly grappled with a 50 percent drop in advertising revenue.
The company has brought a few staffers back from furlough and ended a pay cut for most employees a month sooner than planned, company chairman and CEO Paul Tash said in a note to readers. The Times first reported on the loan last week.