Projo Launches Ad Campaign Focused on “Local” Amidst 28 Years of Newspaper Circulation Declines

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

 

View Larger +

 

GateHouse Media, headquartered in Pittsford, New York and owner of the Providence-Journal, has launched a new brand campaign, “Newsroom Hero."

GateHouse is owned by New York City-based New Media Investment Group, which is managed by Fortress Investment Group of New York City and is now controlled by Tokyo, Japan-based conglomerate SoftBank.

The campaign being run for all its newspapers across the country “highlights GateHouse Media’s deep community connections and commitment to serving as a trusted source of local, award-winning news.”

Most of the GateHouse ads feature a local journalist, but the ads for the Providence Journal show pictures of McCoy Stadium and other locations.

“There actually are four parts to our new branding campaign: Community, Trusted, Impact and Local. All of them speak to how The Providence Journal interacts with readers," said Alan Rosenberg, Executive Editor of the Providence Journal. "The points are the same, whether the campaign features places or reporters,"said Rosenberg.

"We chose to begin with some of our spectacular photography -- the best in Rhode Island -- and will probably come back around later with members of the news staff," said Rosenberg. "Some other papers decided to do it in a different order; you'd have to ask them why."

Newspapers' Freefall

The numbers for newspapers are catastrophic. Pew Research’s report released last Thursday unveiled that the industry's circulation fell another 8% in 2016 and “those numbers mark the 28th consecutive year of declines, which were highest in print circulation. Weekday print circulation decreased 10%, while Sunday decreased 9%, the lowest levels since 1945.”

In 1945, the United States’ population was 139 million versus the 2016 population of an estimated 335 million.

In the past two years, GateHouse has laid off or given buyouts to hundreds of journalists and staffers. Most recently in Providence, the top three editors retired or took buyouts.

The Providence Journal now has about 20 reporters, according to John Hill, head of the Providence Newspaper Guild, which is down from staffing of reporters and editors at close to 300 back at the height of the paper in the 1980s, according to sources. Rosenberg disputes Hill's number and said the number is either 32 or 33.  Hill said that the 20 does not include "photography, sports, or advertising."

Local Play

View Larger +

Alan Rosenberg, Providence Journal PHOTO: Twitter

According to the press release issued by GateHouse, “The ‘Newsroom Hero’ campaign profiles GateHouse Media journalists and shows the positive impact they make in their communities not only as journalists but as parents, coaches and volunteers.”

The Journal’s parent company — GateHouse Media — recently offered buyouts and Deputy Executive Editor Peter Phipps; City Editor Jack Khorey; Business Editor John Kostrzewa; and long-time reporters Karen Lee Ziner and Gregory Smith all took the offer.  Executive Editor David Butler retired and did not take the buyout. 

Butler, Phipps, and Khorey were the three top editors in the newsroom. "Their duties are being chopped up and handed out to some of the survivors," said Hill. 

The number of newspaper journalists has declined -- but not as dramatically across the country as the Providence Journal, according to Pew.

 

The Pew Research numbers were not the only bad news reported this past week. 

Print Now Represents Only 4% of People’s Media Time

Leading Wall Street investor Mary Meeker released her annual benchmark on the internet which reports that print only holds 4% of consumers media time — the lowest of all the media measured.  The report shows that advertisers still spend 12 percent of their dollars with print. 

The second lowest is radio at 9 percent of time spent with media reported. Television is measured at 38 percent and Internet and Mobile combined totals 48 percent of time - Internet 20 percent and mobile 28 percent.

View Larger +

GateHouse Ad Campaign

View Larger +

“We are extremely proud of our people and the important role they play inside the newsroom and in their communities,” said Kirk Davis, Chief Executive Officer, GateHouse Media. “This campaign reinforces the strong and cherished relationship we have with our readers and gives them a peek into how deep our local roots go. This campaign celebrates the hundreds of ‘Newsroom Heroes’ working to make an impact as journalists and as part of the fabric of their communities.”

The campaign debuts the week of June 4, in 130 daily GateHouse newspapers. Following the initial blitz, GateHouse’s 314 weekly newspapers and digital and social platforms will participate in the campaign. The initiative celebrates GateHouse Media’s people and demonstrates its ability to "launch large advertising and marketing campaigns across its growing footprint."

According to the press release, “GateHouse will launch an essay contest for high school students, tied to themes of the ‘Newsroom Hero’ campaign. Winning essays will be featured across the company’s newspapers and websites and student winners will receive cash prizes toward college tuition.”

Editor's Note:  The article has been updated to reflect that Hill said that the 20 does not include "photography, sports, or advertising."

 

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

View Larger +
Prev Next

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

View Larger +
Prev Next

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.”

View Larger +
Prev Next

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. 

View Larger +
Prev Next

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.

View Larger +
Prev Next

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."

View Larger +
Prev Next

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.

View Larger +
Prev Next

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.

View Larger +
Prev Next

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."

View Larger +
Prev Next

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.

View Larger +
Prev Next

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.

View Larger +
Prev Next

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.

View Larger +
Prev Next

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.

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
 

Sign Up for the Daily Eblast

I want to follow on Twitter

I want to Like on Facebook

X

Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email