Following media writer Andy Smith's reassignment to writing about jobs for an advertising supplement, the Providence Journal is dispatching assistant features editor Alan Rosenberg to oversee the ProJo's South County bureau. Rosenberg, who plays an important role in coordinating the Journal's arts and entertainment coverage, will reportedly not be replaced in his current post.
"He makes arts coverage happen at this newspaper," says one insider. "This is really huge." The internal reaction has been one of "shock, tears, disbelief."
Rosenberg, a veteran of almost 20 years at the ProJo, declined comment. Effective in early April, he will succeed Dave McCarthy, who is retiring, as chief of the South County bureau. The bureau itself is one of two remnants of the Journal's once-vaunted statewide network.
Providence Newspaper Guild administrator Tim Schick was familiar with the news about Rosenberg's reassignment, but was unaware of whether the shift of Smith and Rosenberg portend other changes.
The shifts reflect ongoing cost cuts at the ProJo, which has been spared in recent years the kind of buyout taking place at the Boston Globe. That said, they still represent a downward trend in the substance of Rhode Island's biggest daily.
In an internal March 20 memo, ProJo publisher Howard G. Sutton cited the Providence Journal Company's No. 1 goal for 2007 as: "Achieve the 2007 Financial Plan while fully leveraging product and marketing investments and human and financial resources in order to grow revenues at rates that exceed market growth."
Look for more news on the current course of the Journal in next week's Phoenix.