WPRO Manager Tells Hosts Not to Disparage Each Other

Friday, September 11, 2015


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WPRO Manager Tells Hosts Not to Disparage Each Other

The operations manager of WPRO & WPRV had to tell its radio show hosts to behave -- literally.  

See Entire Email BELOW

In an email sent to nearly fifty employees on Tuesday entitled, "URGENT - On-Air and Social Media," WPRO Operations Manager - and Program Director - Tony Mascaro told hosts to keep any disagreements off the air (and offlline).

"This is to all show hosts, producers, board-ops, news anchors, reporters and client related hosts," wrote Mascaro. "I will not tolerate anyone who works for WPRO or WPRV to use the radio airwaves or any type of social media to make derogatory remarks or mean spirited comments about other hosts or shows that are on these 2 radio stations."

Mascaro did not respond to request for comment on Thursday.


The following was sent by Mascaro on Tuesday, September 2

This is to all show hosts, producers, board-ops, news anchors, reporters and client related hosts.

I will not tolerate anyone who works for WPRO or WPRV to use the radio airwaves or any type of social media to make derogatory remarks or mean spirited comments about other hosts or shows that are on these 2 radio stations.

If you work here or are associated with the radio stations with a client based brokered show remember that you represent WPRO and WPRV.  If you have a problem with another host or a topic that is or was on either station then you should direct your comments or input to me and only me.  If I feel there is a problem then I will address it with that individual.

We have a variety of shows and hosts on both of our radio stations that present certain viewpoints and many times those views may differ from how you feel about a subject.  That is fine. But you are not to use your position with these radio stations to air a grievance you may have against a fellow host or the way a fellow host does their show.

As for anyone that is off-air -- the same rules apply.  Do not use Social Media to bash the radio stations or hosts. 

I am very serious about this and I will not stand for it.  We are all working towards the same goal and that is to entertain our audience and present the best product we can to the market.  Let’s be a little more pro-active in promoting our fellow hosts and not demeaning anyone. Use your energy to talk about the positive things that we all do. We are a team and I expect everyone to act as teammates.

If you have any questions about any of this then please feel free to discuss it with me.



Tony Mascaro
Operations Manager-Cumulus Providence
Program Director WPRO & WPRV


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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.

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RI Press

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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."
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-The Rhode Island Press Association

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A loss for the Providence radio market. 

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WPRO Leadership

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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.

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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. 

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Yorke, DePetro Honored

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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. 

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ProJo Doubles Price

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The Sunday Journal will remain at $3.50, and the cost of home delivery, which varies by subscriber, will not change.

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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.

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Mark Curtis

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. 

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ProJo Layoffs

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.  

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Rudy Cheeks

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.

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Susie Steimle

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.

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Joe O'Connor

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. 

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Jim Baron

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.

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WPRO Loses ABC News Radio


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.

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Daly Retires

Daly Retires

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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.

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WJAR-10 won the following in the most recent sweeps:

NBC 10 News Sunrise at 4:30am - #1
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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

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The story about an alleged rape at a fraternity at the University of Virginia is a travesty in far too many ways.

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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.  

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Projo Moving

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?

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Metts Featured in Glamour

Metts Gets National Nod

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Matt Lauer

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.

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Black Journalist

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.

Register Here

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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. 

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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.

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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

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Election Coverage

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.

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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.

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DePetro Boycott

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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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Projo Picket

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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.


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