More Changes in RI Media - Projo Cuts, New Interim Publisher, and Union Furious
Saturday, September 13, 2014
The Rhode Island media changed again this past week.
As RINPR reported, 22 members of the Providence Guild were let go. The long-time Publisher of the Providence Journal is out and was replaced by an interim publisher from out-of-state. According to the Projo's union, 30 more layoffs are expected in the next few months.
Union is Crying Foul
The Projo's union has been devasted by cuts in the past 36 months with more than 100 staff positions eliminated. The Providnce Newspaper Guild tells its members that the new owners have lied about holding salaries level.
"Though they said they will not cut the pay of the employees they hire in the takeover, any new employees brought on board later will be paid under a new scale. At briefings about the job offers, our members were told anyone who loses their job in the outsourcing and then applies for a new job, like in the pre pub/copy desk situation, would be paid under the new pay rate, which is about 30 percent less than what we are getting now."
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was first published September 8th at 2:30 am.
Related Slideshow: Rhode Island’s Changing Media Landscape
Radio, print, television and digital - the faces in Rhode Islands's media has changed drastically over the past months... Let's take a look at some of the biggest moves:
The long time Providence Journal columnist Bob Kerr was sent packing by the new ownership group.
The unceremonious dismissal ended the tenure of the Projo's only true news columnist.
Kerr was talented and often controversial.
The long-time publisher was Belo's man in Providence. Howard Sutton was the man that implemented the changes that Dallas wanted to try and make the company more efficient and more profitable.
The results were dismal. Maybe no newspaper in the country lost a higher precentage of ad revenue than the Projo over the past decade.
He was the face of the paper in the community.
Rick Daniels has joined GoLocal24 as Chief Operating Officer.
Daniels is the former President of the Boston Globe. He also served as CEO of Gatehouse Media for New England and led a consortium of investors who attempted to purchase the Boston Globe from the New York Times Company in 2013.
Daniels then went on to play a key role at Empirical Media Advisors based in New York, focused mainly on Tribune Publishing, where Emprical’s co-founder and CEO, Jack Griffin, recently took the role of CEO.
Fred Campagna has joined FOX25 in Boston.
Before Campagna began working at FOX25, he served as the Chief On-Air Meteorologist at ABC6 for fourteen years.
After leaving ABC6 in July 2012, Campagna launched his own digital weather platform, Right Weather.
WLNE-TV has fired anchor Karen Meyers. She had been with the station since 2011.
Meyers had anchored the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news with John DeLuca. Sources say station management opted not to renew her contract and decided to go in another direction.
Before Meyers joined ABC6, she was a reporter/anchor with New England Cable News and was a reporter in Washington, DC.
According to RIPR reporter Ian Donnis, Providence Journal's Health Reporter is leaving. Felice Freyer has been the sole reporter covering Rhode Island's largest businss sector.
Freyer leaves for the Boston Globe.
Her departure follows Phil Marcelo who recently left the Projo for AP in Boston.
Editor's note: An earlier version incorrectly had RIPR reporter Scott MacKay as breaking the story.
Veteran radio reporter Flo Jonic recently was fired by RINPR after she filed complaints against the station for gender-based pay discrimination.
Jonic is a 30 year veteran of New England news radio.
In her charge filed in February, Jonic wrote, "I believe that I have been discriminated against based on my sex by my employer," and referred to the difference in her pay and that of RIPR reporter Ian Donnis.
"Currently, [reporter] Ian Donnis earns at least $75,000 a year, while I make $51,000 per year. We perform the same duties, and I have 32 more years experience than he does," wrote Jonic in her complaint.
After a seven year stint reporting for the Providence Journal's state house bureau, Phil Marcelo left the paper to take a reporting gig with the Boston office of the Associated Press.
Hailing from Long Island, New York, Marcelo came to ProJo in 2006, and covered everything from regional news, to Providence City Hall and the Statehouse. Marcelo's departure was first reported by WRNI's Ian Donnis.
Formerly a nightly news reporter for WJAR, Tremmel was fired from the "Team You Trust" after two clips, one of her performing on-air handstands, and the other offering tips on what to do during a bear attack, went viral.
The video became an internet sensation, but long-time Channel 10 newsman Jim Taricani called Tremmel’s antics “a smudge on our station's reputation.”
A long-time staple of Channel 10’s news team, Taricani announced plans to retire after over three decades with the station.
Taricani has won 5 regional Emmy awards, an Edward R. Murrow award for investigative journalism and a Prestigious Yankee Quill Award from the New England Newspaper Association.
He was convicted to six months in prison in 2004 for refusing to reveal a source, and is the youngest person ever to be inducted into the Rhode Island Hall of Fame.
WPRO talk show host has come under fire for comments he made on air regarding women. Leading union organizations have called for DePetro to be fired.
Most recently, he has been on announced suspension.
DePetro apologized for his comments.
Ron St. Pierre
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- NEW: Providence Journal’s California Sister Paper Sold for $27M
- Governor Chafee Condemns Providence Journal’s Rewrite of OpEd
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- Don Roach: Welcome to the Era of Social Media Wars
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- Media General Sells Channel 10 as Part of LIN Media Buy
- Leading Media Strategist Merrill Brown Joins GoLocal24 Board
- GoLocal24 Announces Expansion to Portland, Oregon
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- GoLocal24 Names Former Boston Globe President Daniels COO