Where the Former Projo Stars Are Today

Sunday, October 25, 2015

 

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When the Providence Journal company sold in 1997 to A.H. Belo in Dallas, Texas, it may have been the high water mark for the paper. 

The paper sold for $1.5 billion and was a breeding ground for young talent that went on to bigger - and national - platforms.  Their careers have taken them to the New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal to name a few. Combined, the group has won multiple Pulitzers and scored multiple finalists for their journalism.

SLIDES: See Where They Are Now BELOW

In 1994, the Providence Journal won its last Pulitzer Prize for “thorough reporting that disclosed pervasive corruption within the Rhode Island court system" -- specifically for their unveiling the deeds and misdeeds of Chief Justice Tom Fay and Court Clerk Matty Smith. 

At the time of the sale of the Providence Journal to Belo, the newsroom was packed with talent, energy and ambition. In retrospect, the lineup read like Murderers' Row - Barry, Starkman, Stanton, Mingis, Frank and on and on. All gone from the Journal.

The paper dominated news, opinion and captured the lion's share of local advertising - at the time nearly 50% of local advertising dollars went to the Journal. Today, the Journal’s advertising revenue has dropped to an estimated 5% of the total market spend, according to data from Belo and market analysis from the research firm BIA/Kelsey.

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Pulitzer Prize

The New York Times wrote about the sale of the Journal at the time, “With a fine reputation in American journalism, few people question the newspaper's honesty, honor or integrity today. But its independence vanished late last month when, after a series of moves aimed at strengthening the Providence Journal Company, it was absorbed in a friendly $1.5 billion takeover by the A. H. Belo Corporation of Dallas, owner of The Dallas Morning News and a number of television stations.”

Sold, Cuts and Shrinkage

Since the sale of the Providence Journal to Belo (and then a 2014 sale to GateHouse Media), the newsroom has been reduced by 75%, regional news offices have been closed and the newspaper’s circulation has decreased by more than 60%.

As a result, many of the top old guard talent like columnist Bob Kerr, photographer Connie Grosch and Editorial writer David Brussat were among the nearly 100 laid off in the past few years.

Many of the younger staffers — the aggressive hard news and investigative reporters are now working at some of the best news organizations in America. Two have even had stints with GoLocal.

 

Related Slideshow: Where the Former Projo Stars Are Today

Take a look at where the top Providence Journal writers and reporters from the 1990s and 2000s are now reporting. UPDATED April, 2017

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AP

Scott Mayerowitz

Airlines Reporter for Associated Press

Formerly ABC News correspondent - he is often the expert being quoted around airline strikes to plance crashes.

Photo: News Media Guild

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NY Times

Dan Barry

New York Times

Barry was part of the young gun investigative group at the Journal in the early 1990s that won a Pulitzer for the investigation into Chief Justice Thomas Fay, and also investigated Cianci’s Nick Ricamo and others.

He was a Pulitzer Feature Writing finalist at the NY Times for his portfolio of "closely observed pieces that movingly capture how the great recession is changing lives and relationships in America.”

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Boston Globe

Christopher Rowland

Washington Bureau Chief at the Boston Globe

He also has served as Metro political editor and as a healthcare reporter on the Business Desk.

Rowland covered Providence City Hall (among a number of assignments) during his Projo years. 

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LA Times (formerly)

Dean Starkman

Teaching in Hungry

Starkman previously was an editor at Columbia Journalism Review, Wall Street Journal and GoLocal. Starkman was part of the investigative team in 1994 at the Projo that won a Pulitzer.

An award-winning journalist and media critic, he is the author of 2014's “The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism.” Before leaving for Europe he was the Wall Street reporter for the LA Times.

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USA Today (formerly

Tom Frank

CNN Now

Since leaving the Providence Journal, he has had stints at Long Island's Newsday and The Denver Post.

At USA Today, Frank was a 2012 Pulitzer finalist "for his sharply focused exploration of inflated pensions for state and local employees, enhancing stories with graphic material to show how state legislators pump up retirement benefits in creative but unconscionable ways."

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The Weekly Standard

Philip Terzian

The Weekly Standard

Terzian is literary editor of The Weekly Standard. In the 1990's he served as the editorial page writer for the Providence Journal.  In his career, he has been a writer and editor at Reuters, newspapers in Alabama and Kentucky, the New Republic, and the Los Angeles Times.

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Wall Street Journal

Jennifer Levitz

Wall Street Journal 

She was a pitbull State House reporter at the Providence Journal and has made a mark at the New England office of the Wall Street Journal. 

She was part of the reporting team that was a Pulitzer Finalist in 2014 for a series called "Deadly Medicine," a stellar reporting project that documented the significant cancer risk to women of a common surgery and prompted a change in the prescribed medical treatment.

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Washington Post

Kevin Sullivan

Washington Post

Once the State House reporter at the Providence Journal, today at the Post, Kevin is a longtime foreign correspondent who has been based in Tokyo, Mexico City and London, and also served as the Post’s Sunday and Features Editor.

He won a Pulitzer for international reporting with the Post in 2003, along with Mary Jordan, for their "exposure of horrific conditions in Mexico's criminal justice system and how they affect the daily lives of people."

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NY Times

C.J. Chivers

New York Times

Pulitzer Prize winner in 2017.

Chivers is a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, where he "contributes to the Foreign and Investigative desks of The Times on conflict, politics, crime and human rights from Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Russia, Georgia, Chechnya and elsewhere on a wide range of assignments."

His assignments are far from his political coverage in Providence City Hall and the State House.

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Boston Globe

Cynthia Needham

Boston Globe

Today she serves as the political editor at the Globe and oversees coverage of the State House, City Hall, and Massachusetts politics. She was a political and State House reporter at the Providence Journal.

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AP

Steve Peoples

Associated Press

Peoples has become a top political reporter and the lead on Presidential coverage at the Associated Press. In 2012, he covered the Mitt Romney campaign.  After he left the Providence Journal he covered politics for Roll Call and contributed to GoLocal.

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Computer World

Ken Mingis

Executive Editor, News and Strategy at Computer World

Mingis has risen through the ranks at the high tech pub and has served as the Apple expert and the online editor for Computer World, which is a different world from being the lead city reporter cover Buddy Cianci in the 1990s. He was the reporter who broke the infamous DiPrete Cranston Land Deal.

 
 

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