Abel Collins, the independent candidate in CD2, plans to deliver a petition with more than 1100 signatures protesting his exclusion this evening from a televised debate on Fox Providence. (UPDATE: I should have noted in my initial post that the debate was set to be taped this morning,)

Welcome to TGIF, my new Friday column. As always, feel free to send your tips and thoughts to idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.

Another outburst of Raimondomania flared when state Treasurer Gina Raimondo was a guest last week on Greater Boston, a Hub-centric public affairs show on WGBH-TV. Getting the attention of Bostonians is no small accomplishment.

Former Boston University president John R. Silber, who died yesterday at age 86, will mostly be remembered for making BU a significantly more dynamic and better unversity than when he arrived in the early 1970s. But he also made BU a great place to be a student journalist.

Silber was a newsmaker — brash, unapologetic, scary smart, and controversial.

The Boston Globe has a thorough look at the challenge facing the Boston Phoenix as it moves this week to a new format, scrapping the traditional alternative newsweekly template while adding a big helping of lifestyle content.

Phoenix owner and publisher Stephen Mindich, 69, tells the Globe the rejiggered Phoenix in Boston “is right for the time.”

The Providence Newspaper Guild sent a letter to Providence Journal management, suggesting the two sides work together to find savings that could preclude layoffs at the statwide daily.

According to a letter distributed today to members of the Guild, the largest union at the ProJo: 

The company said it was interested in the idea, but wouldn’t be able to respond with specifics until after the first week of October.

Former Governor Don Carcieri offers his first interview on the demise of 38 Studios, with Channel 12′s Tim White. Ted Nesi has more:

Carcieri sat down with WPRI 12′s Tim White on Thursday morning for an exclusive one-on-one interview – his first since last spring’s dramatic implosion of Curt Schilling’s video game company, which received a $75 million loan guarantee from Rhode Island taxpayers on Carcieri’s watch.

Here’s an unfortunate irony: on the same day that hundreds of people are discussing how to revive Rhode Island’s economy, the Ocean State’s statewide newspaper is facing further cuts.

Some members of the local fourth estate think former Governor Don Carcieri will seek a sympathetic audience — a talk radio host, for example — when he breaks his silence on the state’s disastrous involvement with 38 Studios.

But state Republican chairman Mark Zaccaria believes Carcieri will make himself available to a range of media.

The Providence Journal remains the best-staffed local news organization when it comes to covering the Statehouse. But there’s nothing quite like subjecting lawmakers (and their would-be successors) to tough questions and the unblinking eye of a TV camera.

Switching to an iPhone from a BlackBerry was all it took for state Representative Jon Brien to become a Twitter enthusiast earlier this year.

The BlackBerry interface for Twitter was “useless,” and Brien says, “I really didn’t get Twitter.” But a new world of information and communication opened up when  he signed up for a Twitter handle on his iPhone last spring.

As the Providence Journal continues to wrestle with the challenges facing old-line media, reporters at the statewide daily are being encouraged to increase their use of social media.

A recently issued five-page set of social media guidelines “demonstrates a lot of faith in the professionalism of the people who work here,” says reporter John Hill, president of the Providence Newspaper Guild. ”Basically, the policy is, ‘don’t be a jerk.’ “

First, Anthony Gemma wouldn’t take questions from reporters at his campaign announcement.

Jason Schwartz, who wrote the definitive story on the 38 Studios saga for Boston Magazine, tells NECN the short version is this: the company “never really had a chance.”