providence journal

Emma Ruddock / RIPR

A.H. Belo, the Dallas-based owner of the Providence Journal, has hired an Arkansas-based firm to help explore a possible sale of the ProJo, newspaper employees were told during a meeting with publisher Howard Sutton Wednesday morning.

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Here we go: after months (years?) of salivating by local political junkies, Rhode Island's 2014 race for governor is about to get real. Sure, most voters won't tune in until some time next year, but an announcement on Monday will mark a new phase in the contest. So thanks for stopping by, and as always, feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) dot (org) or to follow me on the twitters. Let's head in.

The Providence Journal is reporting that 11 employees have been laid off, including eight full-time employees in the newsroom, in the newspaper's latest round of cost-cutting.

The layoffs were expected after a recent buyout attracted less interest than the target set by management.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Tracy Breton, who covered courts and legal issues at the Providence Journal for 40 years, says an ongoing series of buyouts and layoffs on Fountain Street will make it increasingly difficult for the paper to offer investigative reporting and in-depth journalism.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Tracy Breton worked her final day on the job at the Providence Journal last Friday after covering courts and trials for 40 years. Breton was part of the investigative team that won a 1994 Pulitzer Prize for the ProJo, and she covered the downfall of two Rhode Island Supreme Court chief justices, Joseph Bevilacqua and Thomas Fay. Breton sat down to talk about her four decades of covering the courts and her future plans.

Contrary to popular belief, TGIF was not MIA last week due to the presence of a Friday afternoon post-season Red Sox game. Regardless, we're back this week, and Rhode Island keeps on giving, so let's get going. (Gratuitous reminder: you can follow me on Twitter.)

Twelve Providence Journal employees -- four in the news department and eight in advertising -- have agreed to take the company's latest buyout. The Providence Newspaper Guild expects the newspaper to move ahead with layoffs, since it hoped to eliminate about 30 positions.

In the latest in a series of buy-out offers in recent years, Providence Journal management says it will eliminate about 30 jobs unless enough employees decide to make an early departure.

Reporter John Hill, president of the Providence Newspaper Guild, says the news was conveyed to the union earlier today. "It's going to hurt," Hill says. "There's not a lot left to cut. Morale is terrible."

By most measures, a September 1973 strike by workers at the Providence Journal and Evening Bulletin was a failure. By voting to end the strike, newspaper employees agreed to accept the very contract they had rejected two weeks earlier. Some members of the Providence Newspaper Guild lost their jobs. Publication of the Journal and Bulletin continued uninterrupted through the strike.

Welcome back to my Friday column. As always you can reach me at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get started.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

After 28 years at the Providence Journal, investigative reporter Mike Stanton is leaving Rhode Island's statewide daily for a teaching job at the University of Connecticut. Stanton sat down to talk about his time at the ProJo, some of his favorite stories, and the future of investigative reporting


For sportswriter-turned-investigative reporter Mike Stanton, finding a good lead -- on one occasion in the '90s, at least -- didn't require more than a visit with his friends in the Providence Journal's sports department.

Welcome back to my Friday politics + media column. As always, you can reach me at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's head in.

In The Prince of Providence, his gripping account of the life and times of Vincent A.