Scott Mayerowitz, a smart, politically savvy standout among the young reporters at the Providence Journal, will be leaving to take a job with ABC News.
Mayerowitz, a 28-year-old Wesleyan grad who started at the ProJo as a two-year reporter-intern shortly after his graduation in 2000, says his new assignment will be doing Web-based reporting for the national business desk of ABC News. "The Journal has been great to me," he says. "I felt it was time to move on and this was a great opportunity."
The reporter, part of the ProJo's three-person State House bureau, says he will leave in the next few weeks. The move raises the question of whether the Journal will fill Mayerowitz's position, particularly since his departure comes amid the middle of a General Assembly session. "You've got me," he says. "Those decisions are made way above my pay grade."
Kathy Gregg, a 20-plus-year veteran, anchors the State House bureau. The other Journal staffer there is Elizabeth Gudrais, who, after a delay while the legislature was out of session, got the nod a few years back in 2006 to succeed the departed Liz Anderson.
A New Jersey native, Mayerowitz has become respected in Rhode Island for his intelligence and smart political reporting. After starting by covering Tiverton for the ProJo, he reported on the East Bay, and then Cranston during its fiscal crisis and the corresponding rise of Steve Laffey. The scribe justifiably recalls two of his most memorable stories as one about Cranston's very well-renumerated crossing guards and a profile that offered a revealing look at Laffey (who, of course, went on to lose last year's Republican US Senate primary to Lincoln Chafee, considerably bloodying Chafee, who lost the general election to Democratic challenger Sheldon Whitehouse).
"There have just been some amazing stories here -- the state is full of news," Mayerowitz says. "Through good times and bad, the Journal has really tried to shed light on these unique stories, and I've been privileged to be a part of it."
Asked if he deliberately sought a Web-based reporting job, Mayerowitz said he wasn't sure how to answer. With so much uncertainty about the future of print, "the Web does appeal in that sense," he says, although he wasn't looking only for an online job.
"I'm going to miss Rhode Island, I'm sad to go," he says, "but this was an opportunity that I felt I couldn't turn down."