NEW: A.H. Belo Announces Providence Journal for Sale
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
As hinted at on their most recent quarterly call, A.H. Belo, the publishing company that owns The Providence Journal
, has announced that it has begun looking for potential buyers for the daily Rhode Island newspaper.
"The Providence Journal is an important financial contributor to our Company, and the newspaper's commitment to the citizens of Providence and Rhode Island is unmatched. However, with A. H. Belo's focus on investing and growing in Dallas, it makes sense to explore this opportunity,” said Jim Moroney, chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer of the Dallas-based company.
A.H. Belo, which has owned The Journal since 1997, has selected Stephens Inc., an Arkansas financial services firm, to pursue potential buyers for the newspaper.
Reason for the decision
According to A.H. Belo, selling The Journal would generate additional cash to invest in its businesses in Texas, as well as finance further repurchases in the future.
Specifically, the sale would also allow the company to concentrate on its flagship newspaper, the Dallas Morning News, which has been publishing since 1885 and currently has over 400,000 subscribers. A.H. Belo is also owns the Denton Record-Chronicle.
The Journal, which is the oldest major daily newspaper of general circulation and continuous publication in the United States, was the company’s only remaining newspaper outside of Texas.
Last month, A.H. Belo finalized the sale of the newspaper operations of The Press-Enterprise located in Riverside, Calif. for $27.25 million. In July, the company sold The Press-Enterprise’s building to Riverside County for $30 million.
Declining circulation and revenue
The Journal’s circulation declined 45 percent from 1999 to 2012, from about 165,000 to 89,000. Over this same time, the newspaper circulation nationally dipped by 20 percent. The newspaper’s current circulation is 76,447 as of September 30.
Additionally, The Journal’s advertising revenue has plummeted 66 percent since 2005, which equals roughly $46 million.
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:
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The former ABC 6 Meteorologist left in the summer and launched his own digital weather platform.
Fred Campagna's new gig is titled, RightWeather.
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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