Projo Business Editor Kostrzewa Leaving

Thursday, April 27, 2017


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John Kostrzewa is leaving the Journal (Photo: LinkedIn)

Providence Journal business editor John Kostrzewa is leaving, GoLocal has learned. 

Kostrzewa began his tenure with the ProJo in 1988 and was named business editor in 1997. 

Kostrzewa, a managing editor, is the latest departure at the ProJo, with Executive Editor Dave Butler retiring in June, and Deputy Executive Editor Peter Phipps taking the most recent buyout. 

As GoLocal reported on Tuesday:

The Providence Journal recently offered a buyout package to its newsroom. On Thursday, John Hill, head of the Providence Newspaper Guild told GoLocal that Deputy Executive Editor Peter Phipps, reporter Karen Lee Ziner, and one unidentified reporter had accepted the buyout package. It is expected that Providence Journal will have additional layoffs.  

About Kostrzewa

According to Kostrzewa's bio:

At the Journal, Kostrzewa was assigned in 1991 to work with a team of reporters and editors set up to report on Rhode Island’s banking crisis after the collapse of a private insurer of 45 banks and credit unions.

The team’s coverage won the 1991 Sevellon Brown Award for public service reporting presented by the New England Associated Press News Executive Association. In 1992, the team won first place awards presented by NEAPNEA for general news and spot news coverage.

Kostrzewa’s special report, “Secrets of the Tower: The Betrayal of Marquette Credit Union” was a finalist for a 1993 Penney-Missouri Journalism Award.

From 1993 to 1996, Kostrzewa wrote and edited a weekly feature, called Small Business Making It Work, about issues affecting small and emerging companies.

He worked as deputy business editor for two years before being named business editor.

For the last 12 years, he has written a weekly column for the Sunday newspaper. The commentaries won an award in 2010 from the Society of American Business Writers and Editors, a professional organization.

Kostrzewa was promoted two years ago to assistant managing editor/business, commerce & consumer issues.

He currently directs a staff of eight reporters to produce stories for the daily newspaper and Web site, the Homes Journal on Sunday and the Homes House of the Week section on Saturday.


Related Slideshow: Media Explosion in RI - RI PBS Scores $94M, WPRO’s Parent Co. Collapse, Big Projo Changes

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RI PBS Wins Big in the Spectrum Auction

On Thursday in an email to the RI community, RIPBS announced that the public television station had hit pay dirt in the federal frequency auction. 

David Piccerelli told GoLocal that the windfall was as a result of the leadership and perseverance of the late Susie Farmer.

"In a move to secure the future of public television in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, WSBE Rhode Island PBS President David Piccerelli today announced the station's successful participation in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Broadcast Incentive Auction. WSBE Rhode Island PBS will receive $94.4 million to move its signal from its current location to a location lower in the television spectrum."

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Another Big Winner? CW28’s Parent

One of the biggest potential winners in the auction was CW28’s parent company. The CW in Providence is owned by a company - OTA Broadcasting which was launched by billionaire Michael Dell.

Providence stations alone brought in over $158 million in the auction and, overall, the company brought in $440.7 million by selling the frequency broadcast licenses of 10 stations in the U.S.

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WRPO’s Parent Company Downgraded By Moody’s and More

Cumulus Media generates about a billion in sales but due to more than $2.4 billion in debt, the company’s stock continues to plummet -  88 percent since October from $2.40 to $0.27 as close of the market on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Moody’s downgraded Cumulus to Caa2 from Caa1 and issued a negative outlook. In addition, Cumulus was notified by NASDAQ that the company is not in compliance with “listing rules” and has notified the company that it must come into compliance by May 5th.

Locally, WPRO has shaken up its schedule and has recently named Tara Granahan to fill the 9 am to 12 noon time slot previously held by John DePetro. In addition, they have flipped their 6 pm to 9 pm slot from news to local sports. Andy Gresh worked at the cluster about a decade ago when he hosted a sports who on 790 The Score.

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Projo's New Editor, Buyout and Threatened Layoffs

The Providence Journal announced on Thursday that David Butler would be retiring as editor and will be replaced by long-time reporter and editor Alan Rosenberg. In addition, RI Public Radio reported that the paper faces more buyouts and is considering layoffs. 

When posted to Facebook, comments were made that the Providence Journal was only a shadow of itself and more like a “high school newspaper.” 

Newly named Editor Rosenberg fired back on Facebook and wrote, “Read the Journal's coverage of the Trump administration's impact on Rhode Island, or Tom Mooney on medical marijuana and a number of other topics, or Tim Britton and Brian McPherson on the Red Sox. It's far from all being high school sports and police blotter, and that will be true after the buyout as well.”


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