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.
Instead of letting him retire gracefully, the new owners fired the newspaper’s heart and soul in a particularly callous manner - in a personnel meeting that Kerr described as ``pretty cold and abrupt.’’
Richard Walton was a huge presence in our small state for more than a half century. A writer, journalist, teacher and political activist, Walton, of Warwick, was a leader in so many campaigns for peace and social justice that even his friends and fellow activists could barely keep count.