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  • January 30, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Mediapeel, run by possible Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma, has apparently negotiated its way out of a contract with several local radio stations to do traffic reports.

    A source says the stations affected include those owned by Atlanta-based Cumulus in Providence and parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

    Read More

  • January 27, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Yours truly was on WPRI's "Newsmakers" panel that taped this morning, with Congressman James Langevin as featured guest (thanks to WPRI's Tim White and Ted Nesi for having me on). Among the interesting tidbits: as Nesi has already tweeted, Langevin spoke in support of the prayer banner at Cranston High School West.

    I pushed the Congressman a bit on whether the cybersecurity threat he's warned about is as significant as he would have us believe.

    Read More

  • January 26, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    WPRO talk radio personalities Dan Yorke, John DePetro, and Ron St. Pierre, all facing expiring contracts, are in talks to sign new contracts with the station, the Phoenix has learned.

    There has been uncertainty at the station since last winter, when news broke that Atlanta-based Cumulus Media was moving to buy WPRO's old parent company, Citadel Broadcasting.

    Read More

  • January 23, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Providence Journal education reporter Jennifer Jordan had a fine cover story in Sunday's paper about the controversy over the prayer banner, recently deemed unconstitutional, at Cranston High School West.

    She also had a smaller piece that was, in essence, an interview with Charles C. Haynes, a scholar at the First Amendment Center in Washington who, as the article puts it, "specializes in the intersection of public schools and religion."

    Read More

  • January 19, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    I've got a cover story in today's Phoenix about the suddenly white hot debate over Internet piracy - a debate that has fired up the netroots and split Rhode Island's Congressional delegation.

    The opposition to a pair of anti-piracy bills in Congress, aimed at blocking the illegal distribution of music, film, and pharmaceuticals, was already bubbling.

    Read More

  • January 17, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    GoLocalProv, the feisty web-based news site, has signed a one-year content-sharing partnership with WJAR-TV.

    "We're excited about it, obviously," says Josh Fenton, co-founder of GoLocal. "Channel 10 has been the number one station in the market for 40-plus years."

    News consumers got their first look at the partnership last week when WJAR piggybacked on a GoLocal review of Department of Environmental Management fines - what's actually collected by the state, and what's not.

    Read More

  • January 12, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    I've got a cover story in today's Phoenix about Rhode Island's tricky shift to what I call Medical Marijuana 2.0.

    After a threatened federal crackdown, Governor Lincoln Chafee put the kibosh on three planned pot dispensaries in September. Since then, medical marijuana advocates have been trying to figure out the shape of the next phase - and it's just started to come together in recent days.

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  • January 11, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Regular readers of the Phoenix will recall the story I wrote last month on Joey DeFrancesco, who quit his crappy room service job at Marriot's Renaissance Providence hotel with the What Cheer? Brigade in tow - two trumpets, two cymbals, a bass drum, a snare, and a sousaphone serenading his perfectly evil boss - and quickly became a YouTube sensation

    Read More

  • January 11, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    And you thought the holidaze was over.

    A plug, here, for the Providence Blogosphere Post-Holidays Party tonight at 7 pm at Salon bar, 57 Eddy Street. In attendance, apart from the usual on-line rabble-rousers, will be some of the organizers from Netroots Nation, the high-profile, lefty bloggers convention that will land in Providence this summer in the thick of the presidential campaign (a development first reported by the Phoenix, I might add).

  • January 09, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Governor Chafee, his approval rating at 27 percent, has taken a beating in the end-of-2011 reviews. You've heard the list: failures on the sales tax and gay marriage, a liberal base angry about the voter ID bill he signed, little credit for the state's pension overhaul.

    Well, in case you missed it - and you probably did, the video had just 371 views on YouTube at last count - here's the spin Chafee's office is putting on the past year.

    Read More

  • January 05, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Forbes was in attendance today in new York as Treasurer Gina Raimondo accepted an award from the right-leaning Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research for her work in overhauling the state pension system.

    The magazine's Tim Ferguson noted that Raimondo preached transparency: an unrelenting effort to educate the public on the nature and depth of the pension crisis, such that a broad constituency would "own the problem" and embrace reform.

    Read More

  • January 03, 2012
    By David Scharfenberg

    Not for Nothing is back after a New Year's hiatus. Happy 2012, people. A few political/media notes and Occupy ruminations as we get back into the swing of things:

    • Darrell West, the former Brown University political science professor now with the Brookings Institution will be speaking on the presidential election this Saturday, January 7, at the Newport Museum of Art at 2 p.

    Read More

  • December 23, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    As the year comes to a close, the media is filled with the inevitable retrospectives. And Lincoln Chafee gets the full treatment in the Wall Street Journal today with a piece titled "Gov. Chafee Learns the Price of Independence."

    The only political independent serving as a governor could use a few friends.

    Rhode Island Gov.

    Read More

  • December 19, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    There are no reporters or columnists among the nine Providence Journal staffers who took buyouts on Friday, according to John Hill, a reporter and president of the Providence Newspaper Guild.

    Hill did not have a complete list in front of him when we spoke this afternoon and declined to release any names because the employees had not yet given him permission to do so.

    Read More

  • December 16, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Nine Providence Journal employees have taken buyouts offered by the newspaper. The official announcement is to come Monday.

    The paper was looking to shed eight employees - one reporter, one copy editor, one photographer, one editorial assistant, and four advertising representatives. If fewer than eight had taken the buyouts, the Journal was prepared to lay off staffers.

    Read More

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