It’s Official: Providence Journal is Sold
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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.
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:
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.
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.
Ron St. Pierre
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