A.H. Belo

For more than 40 years, Bob Kerr worked at the Providence Journal, where he was beloved by many readers for his columns about the people and the issues that animate Rhode Island. Recently, he’s been thinking back on his time at the ProJo.

Hilary Horton was my editor when I wrote the local column in the Providence Journal 20 years ago.  We would get together in the late afternoon, looking for the better word, cleaning up the clutter, finding what the heck I was trying to say.  The column was always the better for it.

Bob Kerr's Final Column

Sep 5, 2014
Catherine Welch / RIPR

This week The Providence Journal laid off at least 22 employees as it switched hands from AH Belo Corporation to New Media Investment Group. One of the newsroom staffers let go was columnist Bob Kerr who had worked at the paper for 43 years, spending almost half of that time writing a column that ran three times a week.

Kerr was escorted out the door on Tuesday and wasn’t able to write a final column. So we extended an invitation for him to say good-bye to the Rhode Islanders who read his column week after week, year after year.

Twenty-two members of the Providence Newspaper Guild were laid off Tuesday, as part of New Media Investment Group's acquisition of Rhode Island's statewide newspaper, including the Providence Journal's well-respected longtime metro columnist, Bob Kerr.

The cuts, which also include some separate non-Guild positions, were implemented by the ProJo ahead of the closing of New Media's purchase of the Journal. New Media Investment Group is the corporate parent of GateHouse Media.

Molly Milanowski / RIPR

Rhode Island’s largest newspaper, The Providence Journal, has been sold.  The daily paper will soon be owned by the parent company of GateHouse Media.

New Media Investment Group agreed to buy The Providence Journal for $46 million in a deal expected to close later this year. The company already owns dozens of newspapers, including The Cape Cod Times, and The Taunton Gazette. The sale does not include the newspaper’s downtown Providence headquarters.

The Gannett Company is buying the Belo Corporation, the Dallas-based entity that owns 20 television stations, for $1.5 billion. Belo Corporation became a separate company in 2008 from A.H. Belo, the owner of the Providence Journal.

The AP reports:

Ernest Hemingway's storied retort to F. Scott Fitzgerald about why the rich are different -- because they have more money -- comes to mind in surveying some news involving the Providence Journal.

As Ted Nesi notes, executives with ProJo parent A.H. Belo are hardly suffering amid the ongoing certainty facing the newspaper industry: