The 2014 Rhode Island campaign for governor began in earnest tonight as Democratic primary aspirants Angel Taveras, Clay Pell and Gina Raimondo met in a live televised debate on WPRI-TV that was far more remarkable for policy agreements than disagreements or the sharp, thrust-and-parry exchanges emblematic of Democratic primaries of yore.
After a long, strange trip, Election 2012 is in the books. It’s been a long week, so sit back and relax with my latest edition of TGIF. Your comments are welcome, as always, at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org.
The ProJo continues to bleed print subscribers. According to the latest numbers from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, crunched by WPRI’s Ted Nesi, the daily Journal sold just 83,733 print copies on weekdays between April and Sept. 30, the period covered by the latest report. That is down by 6,352 from the figures reported 12 months ago.
On Sundays, the most lucrative advertising day of the week for newspapers, circulation dropped to 117,784, a decline of 11,240 since the September, 2011 report. Saturday circulation was also down.
The ProJo, which is cutting employees once again, is really penny-pinching with this one. The state’s largest newspaper is ending the `Papers for Patients’ program, according to a letter from Lori Gardnier, director of consumer sales for the ProJo, to hospital officials.
With readership dropping and advertising revenues declining, the Providence Journal, the state’s largest newspaper, is seeking to shed more workers. The Projo is offering buyouts to veteran employees. If a sufficient number of employees do not take the buyouts, layoffs are likely, says John Hill, president of the Providence Newspaper Guild, the union representing many employees.
Providence city government and the Providence Journal have reached an agreement on the ProJo’s tax assessment lawsuits that will lower the newspaper’s property tax liability on its properties in Providence by about $2.5 million.
Under terms of the deal approved by Superior Court Judge Patricia Hurst, the Journal will get a tax credit of $625,000 in 2012, $833,333 in 2013 and about $1 million in 2014.
The settlement was filed in court last Friday before a trial on the issue, which was scheduled to begin today.
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.’ “