After the latest round of layoffs at the Providence Journal this Spring, a certain calm took hold on Fountain Street. Maybe the worst was behind the paper. This week, reason for renewed anxiety: the latest round of numbers from A.H. Belo, the ProJo's parent company, are not good.
A.H. Belo's second-quarter losses, detailed here by the Providence Business News, are more than double what they were a year ago. And advertising revenue plummeted some 30 percent across the company, which also owns the Dallas Morning News, the Press-Enterprise out of Riverside, California, and the Denton Record-Chronicle.
But there are no plans, at present, for further layoffs, according to company execs. And A.H. Belo's stock price has actually jumped in recent days. Some optimism, perhaps, that a rebounding economy could stem the losses at slimmed-down American newspapers.
John Hill, a reporter who is president of the Providence Newspaper Guild, is hopeful. Or, as hopeful as one can be in this environment. "The ceiling is still here and we haven't heard anything [about cuts]," he said. "So you go with, 'no news is good news.'"
The calm, if a bit disturbed, is still in place.