RI Public Radio at the Crossroads: Leadership Void and Budgetary Challenges
Monday, February 09, 2015
The two top professionals at RINPR have announced their resignation leaving Rhode Island for other markets. General Manager Joe O’Connor has left Rhode Island for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina. WFAE is far more financially healthy and has an annual budget 150% larger and a clear radio signal.
Last week, Catherine Welsh, RINPR’s news director since 2010, announced her departure for Orlando, Florida.
The departure of the two top professionals leaves a mammoth void on both the business and content side. RINPR did not respond to multiple attempts for comment.
RI Public Radio Challenges Are Stacked High
First, as part of their agreement to split from Boston’s public radio station WBUR, the Rhode Island station agreed to pay a significant fee and $1.2 million is still due in payments, according to RI Public Radio financial documents.
Ratings for the station are low, even for a public radio station. RINPR ranks far behind the commercial stations and holding just 20% of the Rhode Island audience versus Boston WGBH’s Rhode Island market share. RI Public Radio held less than half-a-percent of the Rhode Island radio listening audience and overall radio listening continues to decline.
“2014 was the sixth extremely tough year in a row in radio which has led to cutbacks and layoffs all throughout the industry. In that regard, RIPR does not stand out as being an exception to the unfortunate trend. I do not necessarily think we'll see more of this negative direction and am optimistic that things will stabilize and perhaps improve in the coming year for radio,” said Michael Harrison, Publisher of Talkers Magazine.
WGBH and its affiliate Bryant University station WJMF combined have audiences more than five times larger than RI Public Radio, who suffers from a series of signals for transmission with each signal covering limited portions of Rhode Island. Accordingly, Bryant’s station and RI Public Radio recorded identical rankings in December’s ratings. When the partnership between WGBH and Bryant was announced, Bryant’s leadership trumpeted the announcement. “Our students could not be more excited over this technological overhaul of the station,” said Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley in a press release. “This collaboration not only brings WGBH’s Classical New England to Rhode Island, but affirms Bryant University as a media technology leader in the region.”
Law Suit Dismissed
As GoLocal reported last year, "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 with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, for which the Rhode Island Commission on Human Rights is the state agency.
Jonic was later notified that the Commission found no grounds for her complaint.
To rebound and grow, RI Public Radio will need to enhance its financial resources. With a small audience - the smallest of any radio group ranked in the Rhode Island market, the station will need to recruit new talent and grow its fundraising base to be able to gain listenership in an ever shrinking radio audience. Online radio may help. According to Pew Research’s State of the Media report issues in 2014, “Traditional radio continues to reach the vast majority of Americans 12 and older, 91% in 2013 (roughly unchanged from 2012), but online listening is where the growth is. According to Edison Media research, fully 33% of Americans reported listening to online radio “in the last week” in 2013, up from 29% in 2013. In addition, online radio listening in cars (long a stronghold of AM/FM radio) rose to 21%, from 17% in 2012.”
To compare the financial resources, RI Public Radio has an annual budget of approximately $2.5 million and WGBH in Boston's budget - which includes the television station - iis more than $144 million according, to the most recent 990 report filed with the IRS.
“In my opinion, RI can support its own public radio station if the station super serves the local business, arts, health, safety and culture interests of the state and provides unique services that separate it from public stations emanating from elsewhere,” said Harrison.
Related Slideshow: Moore News
Moore News is the go-to column for coverage of Rhode Island, regional and national media, focusing on the transformation of legacy media, the explosion of mobile, the influence of social media, and their impacts on journalism.
In response to the crticism by the Rhode Island Press Association regarding press credential restrictions issues by the promoter of Comic Con, the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center in a response to Rhode Island Comic Con press credential restrictions wanted to clarify that “we do not agree with the restrictions and policies which RI Comic Con has instituted. It has always been our policy to welcome the press to our events and report on them in a manner which is accurate and fair” Lawrence Lepore – General Manager, RI Convention Center / Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Rhode Island Press Association's statement on the Rhode Island Comic Con's proposed press credential restrictions for this year's event.
"Rhode Island Comic Con, in its application for press passes to this year's event, insists that news organizations planning to cover it pledge to avoid "insulting or disrespectful comments and giving a bad image of the show."
The Rhode Island Press Association deplores this attempt to control the free speech of reporters and editors, and our members do not agree to this restriction. While the editorial decisions of our individual organizations are theirs to make, as a press association we would rather avoid coverage -- both in advance and afterward -- than give any event's organizers the ability to dictate our stories."
-The Rhode Island Press Association
Hot 106's Deanna Cruz leaves Providence for Seattle.
Cruz, who was a star at Cumulus' Hot 106 has left Rhode Island to work in Seattle for Entercom's Hot 103.
A loss for the Providence radio market.
TV Getting Hit Now
Big Shift from TV to Digital in 2015 according to SMI, according to Media Daily News:
"In what likely is the first comprehensive analysis of actual data from big agency media buys of its kind, Madison Avenue’s major agency holding companies have boosted their spending in digital media by $3 billion during a nine-month period ending with June 2015, and most of it came at the expense of traditional media.
While digital spending is up a total of 16% during the nine-month period, national TV spending fell by $1.1 billion, or about 4%. And total TV spending fell about $1.5 billion (about $5%)."
Shake Up at WJAR
Beginning Monday, August 24th, Alison Bologna will move from 7pm to co-anchor NBC 10 News Sunrise beginning at 4:30 am with veteran morning news anchor, Frank Coletta.
“We are so pleased to announce Alison’s move to morning news,” said Chris Lanni, News Director. “Alison has been a strong part of our evening newscasts for years and we feel this move will only enhance what is already the number-one rated AM newscast in the region.”
Long serving General Manager Barbara Haynes for the WPRO AM and FM radio groups in Rhode Island was fired in May by executives from the parent company’s Atlanta office.
Cumulus Media - the parent company of the radio cluster in the Providence market - is the second largest radio company in the United States.
According to sources in the Salty Brine broadcast center in East Providence, the dismissal of Haynes may be tied to a series of ongoing personnel issues or could be tied to the parent company’s weak financial performance. The other stations Haynes oversaw included AM 790, HOT 106, and Lite 105.
Guild Hammers GateHouse
The Providence Newspaper Guild called out new ProJo owners GateHouse/LMG for secretly pushing through a policy to cut off their share of healthcare when an employee went on extended leave.
GateHouse said in response to the Guild that the 90-day limit was done in "error," after two Journal employees out on extended sick leave received letters approaching the previously undisclosed 90 day mark telling them they would have to apply for COBRA benefits to maintain coverage through GateHouse.
Guild president John Hill when reached for comment said that conversations were ongoing between the Guild and GateHouse.
Yorke, DePetro Honored
WPRO Radio’s midday host Dan Yorke and late-morning host John DePetro have made Talker Magazine’s 2015 “Heavy Hundred” list of radio personalities in the United States.
Yorke was ranked #56 in the nation, and DePetro was ranked #66.
The Talkers Magazine “Heavy Hundred” is compiled each year based upon a combination of factors including courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.
In 2014, Yorke ranked #62 and DePetro ranked #74.
ProJo Doubles Price
The Providence Journal is raising the price for a single copy of its weekday newspaper from $1 to $2, effective Monday, March 30.
The Sunday Journal will remain at $3.50, and the cost of home delivery, which varies by subscriber, will not change.
GateHouse Media purchased The Providence Journal from the A.H. Belo Corp in 2014, and made several rounds of layoffs, starting with 22 people in September 2014 including longtime columnist Bob Kerr.
In February of 2015, 12 copy desk staffers were laid off when their positions were consolidated to an Austin, Texas news hub.
In the past two decades, the Providence Journal’s circulation has dropped from 218,000 to under 70,000.
WLNE-TV ABC 6 reporter and anchor Mark Curtis has left the station, according to a Facebook post he made on Tuesday, March 10:
Dear friends and viewers:
As of today I am no longer with ABC 6 News in Providence. As a 38-year media professional, I am available for work in all aspects of the communications business including: news, public relations, government affairs, lobbying, legislative relations and business communications. As many of you know, I also earned a Doctoral degree and am available to teach at the college level. For resume, work samples, and employment offers please contact me at [email protected].
Curtis came to ABC 6 in January 2010, where he served as Chief Political Reporter, Weekend Anchor, and Weekday Morning Co-Anchor.
Prior to coming to Providence, Curtis covered the 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns for several media outlets.
From 1993-2008 he was at KTVU-TV in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he served as chief Washington DC Correspondent and Morning News Anchor.
Days after a shaky website redesign launch, where the Providence Journal assumed the same corporate template as other GateHouse Media properties, it is reported by Ian Donnis at RINPR that the Providence Journal will lay off approximately 12 copy desk staffers on Wednesday, February 18, as owner GateHouse Media consolidates those jobs into a Austin, Texas based news hub.
Hard times have fallen on former Providence Phoenix writer and WHJY/WHJJ host Rudy Cheeks (Bruce McCrae). Friends of his have set up a GoFundMe campaign to defray some of his expenses. At last check, they had raised $5440 out of a target goal of $10,000.
Susie Steimle is leaving NBC10 in Providence to join WBZ-TV 4 in Boston as a freelance reporter. Her move comes after a reshuffling late last year which moved her from the Sunrise show to the anchor desk on weekend evenings, and after an ownership change at Channel 10. The station is now owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Rhode Island Public Radio announced Monday that General Manager Joe O’Connor is leaving the local National Public Radio outlet at the end of January to become General Manager of WFAE-FM, Charlotte, North Carolina’s NPR affiliate. O’Connor has been with RIPR since 2006.
The backbone of the Pawtucket Times and the Rhode Island State House's most veteran reporter has died according to WPRI.
Baron lead news and political coverage for the Pawtucket Times for decades and his column, "Politics as Usual" was a must read for every elected official.
The 57-year-old Baron was from Brooklyn, New York.
WPRO Loses ABC News Radio
WPRO Loses ABC
The long-time relationship between WPRO and ABC New Radio is over. The parent company of WPRO - Cumulus -- has cut the network.
For Rhode Islanders, there will be no more political reports from Steve Roberts or the opportunity to hear from many others.
WPRI 12 announced that reporter Sean Daly will retire, after more than 30 years.
Daly came to TV in Rhode Island in 1981, and may have been the longest-serving TV reporter according to WPRI. He worked for both WPRI 12 and ABC6 over the years.
It is not known of his retirement is tied to cutbacks at WPRI-12 post the sale of LIN Media to Media General.
Daly during his career has covered:
Both murder trials of Newport socialite Claus Von Bulow
Plunder Dome corruption trial of Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci
The credit union crisis
“It's been a great privilege to have been an eyewitness to history for 42 years,” says Daly. “I’m forever grateful to Channel 12 for bringing me on board in April, 2002 to double-team our coverage, with the late great Jack White, of the Plunder Dome corruption trial of Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci. It’s been a good fit and a fun run. Channel 12’s serious approach to news is how I like to roll.”
A two-time Emmy award winner, Sean has been the recipient of multiple AP and UPI awards. In 2014, a Readers’ Poll in Rhode Island Monthly magazine voted Sean “the best male TV reporter” in Rhode Island.
WJAR Crushes WPRI
The Battle Was a Knockout
The battle between Channel 10 and Channel 12 was a beat down. If this was a boxing match it would have been stopped.
With a 9.4 rating at 6:00 PM, Channel 10 remains the highest rated newscast in the market and beats the competition -- WPRI-12 and ABC6 -- combined.
WJAR-10 won the following in the most recent sweeps:
NBC 10 News Sunrise at 4:30am - #1
NBC 10 News Sunrise at 5:00am - #1
NBC 10 News Sunrise at 5:30am - #1
NBC 10 News Sunrise at 6:00am - #1
NBC 10 News at Noon - #1
NBC 10 News at 5:00pm - #1
NBC 10 News at 5:30pm - #1
NBC 10 News at 6:00pm - #1
NBC 10 News at 11:00pm - #1
NBC 10 News Weekend Sunrise - #1
NBC 10 News at 6:00 (Sat/Sun) - #1
NBC 10 News at 11:00 (Sat/Sun) - #1
NBC 10 News Conference - #1
Rolling Stone Rape Story
Backpeddling and Backtracking
The story about an alleged rape at a fraternity at the University of Virginia is a travesty in far too many ways.
First, the sloppy journalism has the potential to set the issue back. Finally, women were coming forward and the issue was being looked at. GoLocal's Portland, Oregon site unveiled a situation at Portland State University. Last year, a woman at Brown University brought a rape case forward. Both she and the alleged rapist had the opportunity to be heard in a range of local and national media.
Second, Rolling Stone magazine needs to clean up their mess as to not have an adverse impact on the issue. Even their apology needed a correction, as Buzzfeed reported.
Providence Journal Moving to Cranston, Warwick or Johnston
The Providence Journal's new ownership group, GateHouse Media, is looking for a new space for the offices of the newspaper. According to a number of commercial realtors, GateHouse has looked for space in Johnston, Warwick and Cranston.
When GateHouse purchased the newspaper last summer for $46 million, the deal did not include the Fountain Street building. That building is being marketed separately.
Will the Projo become the JoJo if they move to Johnston?
Metts Featured in Glamour
Metts Gets National Nod
Community activist Leah Metts scores a national feature in Glamour Magazine's "Hometown Heroes: 50 Phenomenal Women of the Year Who Are Making a Difference."
Lauer Gets His Boss Fired
Former WJAR-10 staffer is not just a superstar in hosting the Today Show, but now according to press reports out of New York, he got his new boss (former ESPN Exec) Jamie Horowitz fired.
Lauer was co-host of the WJAR news magazine in the 1980's.
USA Today says Lauer's salary is between $20M and $25M per year.
Does Race Matter?
The Southern New England Association of Black Journalists in Partnership with Brown University Department of Africana Studies and the Providence Branch of the NAACP presents a community forum on race and the media. Come join former ABC News Anchor Carole Simpson moderator of a panel of journalists including WJAR Morning Co-Anchor Barbara Morse Silva, Hartford NBC Affiliate reporter Audrey Washington, and keynote speaker Washington Post Reporter, Wesley Lowery.
New Owners and Revised Staffing
WJAR has a new owner. Sinclair will be taking over after Media General sold off the station and kept WPRI-12 and Fox 64.
According to an internal MEMO at WJAR - the team at Channel 10 are glad to be done with their old bosses.
The Memo to staff from News Director Chris Lanni:
As we prepare for the arrival of Sinclair and the departure of Media General, I am very optimistic about the next chapter for NBC 10 News. The book is going well, election night was a clear victory for us and - assuming you are not a Media General fan - we now have new reason to want to clobber the competition. It’s a unique opportunity to show up not just 12, but our former owners as well.
Boston Globe is Moving
Globe is Looking for New Digs
It is hard to miss the Boston Globe's HQ when you drive into Boston. Earlier this year, the Globe announced they would sell their massive building and land valued around $40M.
Boston Business Journal reports the Globe is looking at three locations:
According to sources, the search has targeted:
Fenway's Landmark Center, where the departure of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusettshas opened 360,000 square feet of available space. The 950,000-square-foot property at 201 Brookline Avenue is owned by Samuels & Associates and is within a five minute walk from Fenway Park.
The Schrafft's City Center in Charlestown, where Partners Healthcare is scheduled to exit roughly 260,000 square feet of space in 2016. The 1 million-square-foot property at 529 Main St. is owned and in the process of being renovated by The Flatley Co.
The Hood Park at 500 Rutherford Ave. in Charlestown. The planned 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-used complex is slated to come online in approximately 18 months and provides the Globe an opportunity to potentially move into a new custom-designed headquarters facility. The property's owner and developer is Catamount Management Corp. of Lynnfield.
Boston Globe Ad
Globe Sells Front Page
The Boston Globe may have gone where no major newspaper has gone before.
Their front page was an ad - a big color ad.
Dan Kennedy, Northeastern Professor and media analyst wrote in his blog:
Here is the UMass four-page wraparound ad in today’s Boston Globe that you may have heard about. I generally defend these things, since I like it when news organizations find ways to make money. And it’s clearly labeled; it’s not at all deceptive.
But still, this is a wow. If the Globe hasn’t crossed a line, perhaps it has moved the line past where we always thought it was.
Photo: Dan Kennedy.net
Wednesday Morning Quarterbacks
The battle for election coverage supremacy had Channel 10 and 12, the Providence Journal and GoLocalProv in fullscale battle for first, best and most coverage.
Channel 10 claims they were first in calling the Governor's race, but they have a lot of race calling to make up for the year they in correctly called that Myrth York was the winner of the Governor's race over Lincoln Almond. OOPS.
National Democratic Star
Raimondo Gets Named the Only National Democratic Star
The Daily Beast's David Freedlander dubbed Raimondo the only big win for Democrats in the US. Clearly not a great night for Democrats to win the Governorship in a state in which Dems have more than 300,000 registered voters and the GOP has 88,000.
Meet Gina Raimondo, the Only Democratic Star of 2014
First Gina Raimondo stood up to the unions and led a reform of Rhode Island’s pension system. Then she ran for governor ran as a ‘bold progressive’ who can get things done—and won.
Gina Raimondo was a few hours away from becoming the first female governor of Rhode Island, a bright spot in an otherwise miserable night for Democrats...
“Tonight,” was Raimondo’s Election Night party at the Biltmore Hotel, where in front of thousands of fans chanting “Go, Gina, Go” she would herald a new way forward for Democrats after another midterm drubbing.
John DePetro Boycott Continues
Buddy Cianci invited newly-elected Mayor Jorge Elorza to be his first guest in his return to radio post-defeat.
Elorza begged out citing the boycott of 630 WPRO by For Our Daughters. The boycott is now a year old.
It will be interesting to see if newly elected Governor Gina Raimondo will appear.
Raimondo v. Taibbi
Raimondo had a good week and Taibbi did not
In 2013, Matt Taibbi, the then-star reporter of Rolling Stone magazine came to Rhode Island and took on the investment strategy of General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.
Taibbi's piece put Raimondo's Hedge Fund investment in the national spotlight.
This week Raimondo won the Governorship and Taibbi left his latest gig at Pierre Omidyar's New Look Media under mysterious circumstances.
His article in Rolling Stone Sept, 2013 entitled, "Looting the Pension Funds," takes a harsh look at Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and pension reform in the state.
Taibbi, who has penned such articles as, "How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform" and "Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail," writes:
The rap was so convincing at first that the overwhelmed local burghers of her little petri-dish state didn't even know how to react. "She's Yale, Harvard, Oxford – she worked on Wall Street," says Paul Doughty, the current president of the Providence firefighters union. "Nobody wanted to be the first to raise his hand and admit he didn't know what the f--k she was talking about."
FBI's fake news story
FBI creates fake news story to nab suspect
In an unprecedented maneuvor, the Federal Bureau of Investigation created a fake news story to catch a juvenile suspected of making bomb threats. According to The Huffington Post, documents recently obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation showed that the FBI, in 2007, created a fake news story, on a fake web page, but in the style of the Seattle Times and with an Associated Press Byline.
The story was sent to a 15 year old suspect's myspace account, and when the suspect clicked on the link, the authorities were provided with his location. He was apprehended and later pled guilty to making bomb threats. Both the Associated Press and the Seattle Times have expressed outrage over the unprecedented action of the FBI.
Elorza irks local media
Inner City media panel frustrated by Elorza
"Impacto Hispano," a community, inner city newspaper, issued a press release on Wednesday evening claiming Democratic Mayoral Candidate Jorge Elorza cancelled two appearances before the paper's editorial board. The panel was comprised of a diverse group of panelists comprised of many ethnic media members in Providence and interviewed indepenent candidate Vincent "Buddy" Cianci last Saturday.
According to the release, the panel, comprised of roughly 15 local media members, was moderated by Rudy Cheeks, who is best known for his Phillipe and Jorge column, which ran for years in The Providence Phoenix, but moved over to 920WHJJ after the Phoenix went bust two weeks ago.
Impacto Hispano said that Elorza agreed to appear before the panel twice, but both times decided to back out of the appearance.
The Cianci interview was conducted in English. Elorza's would have also been conducted in English as well the release states.
Impacto publishes news and commentary in both English and Spanish.
Projo lifts from GoLocal
Journal fails to attribute Slater story
GoLocal obtained emails yesterday that show a Providence Journal reporter was unaware of a story about Representative Scott Slater possessing what was allegedly an unsealed mail ballot until he was directed to Golocalprov.com. (Slater denies that the paperwork he was holding was an unsealed mail ballot.)
A series of emails forwarded to Golocalprov.com yesterday show that Providence Journal reporter Tom Mooney said he had no knowledge of the Slater story until he was directed to GoLocalProv.com. The Providence Journal’s accounts of the story fail to note the fact that the story was broken first by Golocalprov in a Sunday investigation.
On Monday,630WPRO wrongly stated that The Providence Journal broke the story.
Healey irked at ABC 6
Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey calls out Channel 6
Robert Healey, the Moderate Party's quixotic candidate for Governor called out Channel 6 yesterday (October 28, 2014) for changing the rules of the debate after they had already been agreed upon. Healey said he was looking forward to being able to ask direct questions of his two opponents, Democrat General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Republican Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.
"I contend that if the candidates have avoided forums, public appearances, radio debates, and more, why should they be allowed to avoid direct confrontation from their opponents?" Healey stated on his website.
During his opening and closing statements, Healey asked questions of the two candidates, which ended up being rhetorical because neither candidate answered the questions (nor were they given an opportunity to do so).
Channel 6 called the change "minor" and stated that its reasoning for eliminating the candidate question portion of the debate was due to an influx of questions from viewers.
Providence Journal employees hold "informational picket"
Any hopes of collaboration and a good working relationship between the Providence Journal's new owner and its employees' union appear to be fading away.
On the afternoon of Monday October 27, Providence Newspaper Guild members held an "informational picket" outside of the Providence Journal's downtown office located on Fountain Street. The Guild employees picketed earlier in September as well.
The Providence Newspaper Guild employees are concerned with staffing decisions made by Gatehouse Media, the new parent company of the Providence Journal--a national chain that owns newspapers throughout the region and country.
A picture of Monday's picket line, which prominently featured Providence Journal Sports Columnist Billy Reynolds, was posted by former Providence Journal photographer Connie Grosch.
Gatehouse laid off 22 Providence Journal employees earlier this year when the sale was finalized. The company plans on eliminating more employees at the beginning of the next year by outsourcing the operation's copy editing and page design positions to an out-of-state office in order to increase the company's bottom line to make it more profitable for its investors. Gatehouse media is owned by Fortress Management--a controversial hedge fund.
WPRO misattributes story
WPRO incorrectly cites Journal as breaking Slater story
The Legacy media sure knows how to stick together.
On Monday morning, 630wpro.com incorrectly reported that the Providence Journal broke the story of State Representative Scott Slater being caught on video with an unsealed, unflled out ballot in his pocket. The story cites the Providence Journal as having broken the story, despite the fact that it was broken by Golocalprov.com -- who cited the State Police were investigating the matter -- hours before the Projo reported it on Sunday.
The story, with its incorrect attribution, was written by reporter Sam Wroblewski.
Projo buries Slater issue
Projo buries ballot tampering complaint against Elorza supporter
The Providence Journal ran two front page stories about alleged voter intimidation by Vinent "Buddy" Cianci volunteers on concurrent days last week. The story contains allegations that two Cianci volunteers attempted to intimidate a resident of the homeless shelter into voting for the two time former mayor.
Yesterday, however, Golocalprov.com broke the story about a Jorge Elorza supporter, State Representative Scott Slater, who was allegedly caught on video carrying an unfilled out absentee ballot.
The Providence Journal, which has been highly critical (to put it in the mildest of ways) of Cianci and endorsed Elorza, neglected to run a story about the incident in its printed paper on Monday at all--despite the story having broken before 2 p.m. yesterday. The Providence Journal did run a story on its website.
Projo Good Old Boy Net...
Projo rails against "Good Old Boy Network," hired super lobbyist
The Providence Journal's endorsement of Democratic nominee Gina Raimondo for Governor was no surprise given how much praise the paper's editorial pages have heaped on the General Treasurer for the last several years. But what was jaw dropping was the how paper implied that Raimondo is an outsider saying "she will most emphatically not represent Rhode Island’s Good Old Boy network", as if the Journal is a stalwart opponent of insider dealings. (They may be for others, but certainly not themselves.)
Setting aside any sentiments about Raimondo, the Providence Journal has significant credibility problems in trying to point the finger at anyone else for taking part in the state's "know a guy" culture.
That's because earlier this year, Golocalprov.com uncovered that when Governor Lincoln Chafee sought to save Rhode Island taxpayers roughly $1 million dollars by removing an outdated state law that forces cities and towns to post legal notices in a newspaper, the Providence Journal hired Joe Walsh, the well-connected lobbyist who is considered one of the most powerful in the state. They reportedly paid Walsh $30,000.
Walsh and the Providence Journal were successful in killing the proposal, despite the fact that 82 percent of Rhode Islanders have used a state website for services.
For a newspaper that rails against the percieved know-a-guy culture in Rhode Island, it sure had no problem hiring the lobbyist who arguably knows the most people.
NPR Cuts Enviro Coverage
NPR is slashing environmental coverage
Huffington Post is reporting that National Public Radio has dramaticly slashed its reporting staff covering the environment.
According to HuffPost:
National Public Radio is down to just one environment reporter, and he's only covering the beat part time, InsideClimate News reported Friday.
As of early 2014, NPR had three reporters and an editor on the environment beat. Now they have one person, science reporter Christopher Joyce, holding down coverage of the issue, and his stories span a broad range of issues beyond the environment. The other three environment staffers have left NPR or moved to other beats.
NPR has refused comment on the matter.
Reporter works at McD
Reporter Works at McDonald's Every Weekend
The Providence Journal's new parent company may not be the most generous employeer. National media blogger Jim Romnesko recently posted the story about a GateHouse reporter in Illinois who works for one of the corporation's newspapers and has not received a raise in 7 years.
The reporter now works both weekend days to augment his salary as a reporter.
"I work there almost every Saturday and Sunday, seven to nine hours a day. I rarely have a day off. I haven’t been able to do much around the house [because of the work schedules]. My lawn hasn’t been cut in a month.”
Olsen was hired by McDonald’s in May after he job-hunted for six months and applied at dozens of places.
This is not good news for Providence Journal news staffers who thought the previous owner - A.H. Belo -- was the worst ownership group. GateHouse has already layed off dozens and will by cutting more in January.
ESPN Love for GoLocal
ESPN Star Gives GoLocal a Shoutout for Investigative Reporting
ESPN's Greg Easterbrook for the recognition of GoLocal's investigative journalism.
"GoLocalProv is a hard-working, independent news site, the kind of nimble little guy that's growing as the MSM contracts. Check its story on the nearly 50 retired Providence city employees, who collectively draw more than $5.5 million a year in pension money despite the city's poor financial condition. Or its story showing that an impossibly high percentage of Providence public officials are awarded special disability pensions."
Daniels to Hartford
GoLocal24' COO to be Publisher of Hartford Courant
GoLocal24 - the parent company to GoLocalProv -- is sending off, and wishing well, COO Rick Daniels as he will soon be assuming the role of Publisher and President of the Hartford Courant - a Tribune Company.
"Rick was a tremendous help to GoLocal and he was one of the reasons were were able to expand to the West Coast. He will be a wonderful leader at the Hartford Courant," said Josh Fenton, CEO and Co-Founder of GoLocal24.
Daniels previously was a media consultant and President of the Boston Globe.
Here is what the Hartford Courant said about Daniel's taking over as publisher:
Daniels, 57, has nearly 30 years of experience in print and digital media. He worked 23 years at The Boston Globe, the last six as president and general manager.
Beginning in 2007, Daniels spent nearly six years at GateHouse Media New England, whose string of 100 newspapers and 160 web sites includes The Bulletin in Norwich. For more than three of those years he was president and chief executive.
Most recently, Daniels was chief operating officer of GoLocal24, a digital news company based in Rhode Island.
Jack Griffin, chief executive of Tribune Publishing, said Daniels' deep knowledge of the New England market will serve him well in Hartford.
"He is a champion of strong journalism, a builder in the community and a digital innovator, and he understands and appreciates the qualities and strengths of The Hartford Courant and the Hartford community," Griffin said.
- ‘Rhode Island Radio’ Looks Back at 90 Years of Broadcasting
- YWCA Rhode Island Launches ‘She Shines’ Radio Program
- Andrew Gobeil: Can AM Radio Be Saved?
- PODCAST: The State of Talk Radio in New England
- GoLocal’s Coverage of 38 Studios is Featured on CBS Radio - Listen
- RI Radio Hall Of Fame Honors Announced
- Rob Horowitz: Here’s Hoping For Mike Huckabee’s Radio Success
- PODCAST: Talk Radio Controversy Sparks First Amendment Debate
- Pat Ford: Mr. Gobeil- Talk Radio is Alive and Well in RI
- PODCAST: NewsRadio 920 + GoLocalProv - Year in Review 2013
- NEW: PawSox Name Josh Maurer as New Radio Voice for 2014
- Infamous Talk Radio Controversies
- The State of Talk Radio in New England
- Tufts Health Plan and Radio Disney Brought Magic of Healthy Living to Pawtucket
- RI Public Radio Reporter Says Station Blocking Her Unemployment
- Buddy Cianci Returns to Radio - Will Elorza be His First Guest?
- O’Connor To Exit RI Public Radio At End Of January: Moore News
- Discrimination Suit: Female Reporter Files Against RI Public Radio
- NEW: Former Radio Host Helen Glover Endorses Block for Governor