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It’s Official: Providence Journal is Sold

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

 

As GoLocal first reported on June 13, the 185-year-old Providence Journal has been sold to GateHouse Media's parent company for $46 million.

In a press release issued Tuesday, New Media Investment Group Inc. (GateHouse's parent) announced that it had "reached an agreement to purchase The Providence Journal and related print and digital assets for $46.0 million in cash from A. H. Belo Corporation."

According to the press release, Jim Moroney, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of A. H. Belo, said, "We are pleased that New Media is purchasing The Providence Journal assets and we are confident that New Media will continue the great journalistic tradition of The Providence Journal. We thank our colleagues in Providence for their hard work and support as we have been privileged to own and operate The Providence Journal for the past seventeen years."

The sale of the Providence Journal is just one of a number of dramatic changes shifting the landscape.  The announced acquisition of WPRI-12's parent company, LIN Media by WJAR-10's parent Media General is next on the Rhode Island media landscape. 

Both of the deals - the sale of the Providence Journal and the merger of WJAR and WPRI - come at a time when massive amounts of media dollars are shifting from print and local broadcast to digital and mobile. Wall Street Media analyst and futurist Mary Meeker predicts billions will shift from print and local TV.

Specifically, in her annual "State of the Internet: KPCB, Internet 2014", Meeker outlines that both print and local broadcast television receive far more in advertising revenue then they have in audience and that these dollars will shift to mobile and online digital.

How much will shift? Meeker says if advertising dollars align with actual time with media, then $30 billion will shift.

According to Meeker, print only has 5% of the audience time, but still commands 19% of advertising dollars. Similarly, TV has over 45% of the spend and an ever decreasing 38% of the audience's time.

Local TV News

The news is similarly bad for local TV news.  According to Pew Research, every age group has decreased its local TV news watching.

The biggest decline is 18-24 year-olds who have decreased their viewing by 14% from 2006 to 2012 - the most recent data period reported by Pew.

 

 

The sales of the Providence Journal to GateHouse's parent company will have a significant impact of the news gathering organization of the paper which has realized more than 60 layoffs and early retirements in the past three-years. The Providence Journal's newsroom that now more than 150 staffers may be trimmed by 60 to 70 through buyouts and layoffs.

 

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:

Prev Next

Rick Daniels

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.

Prev Next

Fred Campagna

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.


 

Prev Next

Karen Meyers

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.

Prev Next

Felice Freyer

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.

Prev Next

Flo Jonic

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.

Prev Next

Phil Marcelo

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.

Prev Next

Julie Tremmel

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.”

Prev Next

Jim Taricani

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.

Prev Next

John DePetro

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.

Prev Next

Helen Glover

Former star of the reality show Survivor, turned talk radio show host is out. Helen Glover departs and is replaced by radio Veteran Ron St. Pierre, who only months earlier was let go by 630 WPRO. St. Pierre is a radio Hall-of-Famer and former top sports anchor on WPRI-12.
Prev Next

Mike Stanton

Mike Stanton, the remaining reporter from the Providence Journal's once storied investigative team, is leaving Fountain Street for a teaching job at the University of Connecticut.
 
Stanton, who was part of the team that won the Providence Journal's last Pulitzer and is the author of the "Prince of Providence," the Buddy Cianci expose, departs leaving the Projo without an investigative reporter. 
Prev Next

Dean Starkman

GoLocal named Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Dean Starkman as a contributor and editor-at-large.
 
"Dean Starkman has a tremendous track record in financial, media, and investigative reporting. His work at the Wall Street Journal as a reporter and as an editor and writer at Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), coupled with ground-breaking investigations of public corruption for The Providence Journal, is unsurpassed in the region," said Josh Fenton, Co-Founder and CEO at GoLocal24, the parent company to GoLocalWorcester.com.
Prev Next

Karen Bordeleau

Karen Bordeleau takes over for Tom Heslin as Executive Editor for the Providence Journal.
 
Before joining the newspaper in 1996, she worked at the Kent County Times and the Woonsocket Call. 
 
She is a graduate of Northeastern University and a Rhode Island native.
Prev Next

Bob Whitcomb

Bob Whitcomb has been the editor of the editorial page of the Providence Journal since 1992 and Vice President since 1997. 
 
His book, "Cape Wind" unveiled the business and political story behind Jim Gordon's effort to build a wind farm off of Cape Cod.
 
Prior to being a powerful voice at the Providence Journal, Whitcomb served as Financial Editor at International Herald Tribune.
 
He is slated to leave later this year according to RI NPR.
Prev Next

Tom Heslin

Managing Editor of the Providence Journal, Tom Heslin, is retiring. 
 
Heslin who has been a journalistic leader of the Journal since the 1990's, led the paper's team the one their last Pulitzer Prize in the early 1990's and had to implement a series of staff cuts during the past decade.
 
Widely respected by journalists, Heslin has recently suffered from health issues.
Prev Next

Tara Granahan

The former co-host to the morning drive show is now Buddy Cianci's sidekick and co-host on the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm drive time show on WPRO AM.
 
Granahan has had a host of assignments at WPRO and is the only woman on air at WPROAM. 
Prev Next

Connie Grosch

She was the star photographer for the Providence Journal for better than a decade.
 
Her State House/Political photos made her one of the most influential members of the Providence Journal staff. 
 
In late 2012, the Providence Journal let her go as part of the latest cost cutting ordered by the home office in Dallas.
 
In January, she was named press secretary to U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-1). She just announced she was leaving the Congressman's staff to return to photography.
Prev Next

Gene Valicenti

The co-host of Channel 10's 6:00 pm news is now doing double as the host for WPRO's 6:00 am to 10:00 am morning show.
 
Previously, Valicenti lost his 11:00 pm slot on WJAR.
Prev Next

Andrew Gobiel

The former WLNE 6 TV reporter, served as co-host of morning drive with Tara Granahan, but the Valicenti hiring left no room for Gobiel.
 
No word yet on where Gobiel has landed.
Prev Next

Jennifer Jordan

One of the top Providence Journal reporters is leaving not only Fountain Street, but also journalism. 
 
She was one of the guild members with the least longevity - more than 10 years.
 
She leaves for Boston-based Opportunity Nation - a not-for-profit.
Prev Next

Ron St. Pierre

The new guy at WHJJ - he takes over the morning show from the departed Helen Glover.
 
For decades, Ron St. Pierre has been a key player in the media industry in both local television and radio.
 
St. Pierre handled sports at WPRI TV, hosted morning drive at WPRO AM, and most recently, was Buddy Cianci's co-host in the afternoon.
 
(Photo: Alan Levine, Flickr)
 
 

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