A new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows the Providence Journal's advertising revenue dropped nearly 13 percent between the third quarter of 2011 and the third quarter of 2012.
The decline, from just over $12 million to almost $10.5 million, was substantially steeper than that faced by parent company A.
Continuing a long-term trend, the Providence Journal's average daily circulation has dipped from 90,085 to 83,733 over the last year, while its Sunday circulation has dropped from 129,024 to 117,784, according to new third-quarter data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
The declines, a 7 percent dip for daily circulation and a nearly 9 percent drop for Sunday circulation, come seven months after the Journal erected a "paywall" on its web site.
This morning, Providence Monthly convened a panel of political reporters and editors to dicuss the state of political reporting - and, really, all kinds of reporting - in Rhode Island.
It was a good group - Tim Murphy, assistant managing editor for public policy at the Providence Journal, reporters Tim White and Ted Nesi of WPRI-TV, Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis, reporter Erika Niedowski of the Associated Press, news editor and reporter Dan McGowan of golocalprov, and myself.
Providence Journal management wants to cut $1.2 million in costs, which could mean up to 16 layoffs from Rhode Island's paper of record.
John Hill, a reporter who serves as president of the Providence Newspaper Guild, says the paper has indicated that it would be willing to accept concessions from union workers in lieu of layoffs.
Longtime Providence Journal music critic Rick Massimo is among the 11 staffers who have accepted the latest buyout offer from the paper.
Two editors, features editor Phil Kukielksi and Sunday editor Jeanne Edwards, have also taken the buyout. John Hill, a reporter who serves as president of the Providence Newspaper Guild union, says no other names that the public might recognize are among the 11.
PolitiFact Rhode Island, the Providence Journal's
fact-checking wing, has a catchy tagline: "sorting out the truth in
poltics." But the paper, it seems, had a little trouble getting at the
truth in its most recent piece.
On Sunday, PolitiFact deemed "mostly false" a recent statement by Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty.
As many as 10 Providence Journal staffers, including features editor Phil Kukielski, have put in for the buyouts offered by the company, according to sources.
A writer and a copy editor with the features department have also applied for the buyouts. No news reporters or columnists appear to have applied by today's 5 pm deadline.
The Providence Newspaper Guild's leadership has sent a letter to Providence Journal management
suggesting the union might be willing to accept concessions, such as
temporary paycuts, to avoid layoffs at the paper.
The move came after management offered buyouts and suggested that job cuts will be in the offing if there aren't enough takers.
The Providence Journal's lead editorial today, "Bring your list to the polls," needles some public-employee union leaders for "trying to take out Democratic legislative leaders who pushed for pension reform last fall" and calls on voters to cast their ballots for the targeted pols. From the piece:
The best known example of the attempt to take out pension-reform leaders is the primary challenge faced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Daniel DaPonte, of East Providence, from Pawtucket police Lt.
While I was out on vacation, Politifact Rhode Island - operated by the Providence Journal - rated as "mostly true" Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's argument that the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision had unleashed a torrent of negative advertising from anonymous donors.
But Politifact took a narrow view of the claim, overlooking a strong argument to be made against it.
With the London Olympics just around the corner, the US Olympic Committee has come under fire for outfiting its athletes with uniforms made in China. This sort of thing is, of course, catnip for the media. A national story or two is to be expected.
But I was a little taken aback to see the Providence Journal run a front-page story today on Congressman David Cicilline's press conference at Northwest Woolen Mills, calling on the USOC to swap out its Chinese-issue berets for Woonsocket-made models
The Providence Journal has a strong front page story today by veteran scribes Mike Stanton and Andy Smith explaining Curt Schilling's side of the 38 Studios debacle. The paper gets inside the company's generally off-limits headquarters, provides a splash of color - Schilling shows up in the first paragraph "gaunt, unshaven and wearing a wrinkled 38 Studios T-shirt" - and offers a blow-by-blow account of the saga consuming the state and much of New England.
Yesterday, WPRI super-blogger Ted Nesi posted on the most recent circulation figures for the Providence Journal.
The paper, like many in the country, has been losing readers for years. And the new numbers, which show a nearly 7 percent drop in daily circulation for the six months ending March 31, 2012 compared to the same period in the previous year, are in some respects a continuation of a long-running, depressing story.
A.H. Belo, the Dallas-based parent company of the Providence Journal and Dallas Morning News, is reporting a net loss of 18 cents per share in the first quarter of 2012 compared to a net loss of 31 cents per share in the first quarter of 2011.
The declining losses are due, in no small part, to cost cutting: as of March 31, 2012, A.
The Providence Journal faces its share of criticism these days - some of it in this space. But the paper's hard-hitting coverage of the unfolding Institute of International Sport scandal - much of it penned by veteran reporters Kathy Gregg and Mike Stanton - shows the enduring value of a diminished media outlet.
No other news organization in the state has the depth of talent and resources that the paper claims.