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  • February 02, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    As Ted Nesi over at WPRI reports, the union representing Providence Journal editorial and advertising staff has reached a tentative, three-year deal with the paper.

    The deal comes out where most expected it would: a wage freeze for the union, unless other employees get something larger than a 2.5 percent raise during the three-year span of the contract.

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  • January 26, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    This from the The Day newspaper in New London, Connecticut:

    The Day Publishing Co. today announced its intention to enter into a multi-year business partnership with The Providence Journal that would include the production and distribution of both companies' newspaper products.

    The partnership plan would include the transfer before April 1 of the printing of The Day newspaper to the Providence Journal's production facilities in Rhode Island.


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  • January 04, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Ted Nesi over at WPRI has the details on the newly erected "pay wall" at the ProJo's sister paper, the Dallas Morning News:

    The Providence Journal’s sister paper, the Dallas Morning News, will begin charging readers to access some of its content online next month, the paper reported today – and the Morning News’ plan may signal what the "Diet Projo" paywall plan will look like when it starts this year.

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  • December 27, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    The ProJo's Political Scene has a fun bit today on a recipe for "a new way forward" that governor-elect Lincoln Chafee doled out to legislative leaders at a recent reception. Among the ingredients: "a 10-pound satchel of honesty" and "a gallon of listening."

    It's not an entirely new concoction, though. This reporter saw a very similar recipe from an earlier period in Chafee's career - a political ad from his days in Warwick city politics - posted on the wall in his gubernatorial campaign headquarters a couple of months back.

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  • December 17, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    The Providence Journal's front-page coverage of a report focused on Central Falls' fiscal meltdown - a report calling, among other things, for a merger with neighboring Pawtucket - is no major departure for the paper. This sort of solid coverage of an important government is what the ProJo does best - and it is something readers expect.

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  • December 06, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    This is hardly the first time the Providence Journal has written about GLBTQ issues. But there is something striking about a picture of a young man kissing another young man on the cheek on the front of today's paper.

    That such an image is striking is, well, a little striking itself. A commentary on what we expect - and don't - in Rhode Island, circa 2010.

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  • November 19, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Wages and health care are the central issues in contract negotiations between ProJo management and the Providence Newspaper Guild, which represents editorial and advertising staff.

    The paper has proposed a two-year deal - shorter than usual - that would cut wages by 2.5 percent in the first year and tie wages in the second year to whatever the ProJo's other unions get.

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  • November 17, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Last month, I reported in this space on a memo that ProJo publisher Howard Sutton sent to employees outlining some of the paper's major initiatives in the next year or so.

    The big news, then, was that the ProJo was modifying its long-discussed plans to put important local stories behind a "pay wall" of some kind. The memo itself was vague on what the shift would entail.

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  • November 16, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    With the ProJo's erstwhile Providence reporter Phil Marcelo moving on to the State House Bureau - he penned the piece in today's paper about the nomination of Richard Licht as governor-elect Lincoln Chafee's director of administration - the paper has moved East Providence reporter Alisha Pina into the capital city beat.

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  • October 25, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Ted Nesi over at WPRI has the latest on the ProJo's declining circulation:

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - The Providence Journal's weekday circulation fell by 10 percent over the past year as the state's largest daily watched its readership continue to shrink.

    The Journal sold 96,595 copies on weekdays during the six months ended Sept.

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  • October 20, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Contract negotiations kick off later today between management at the Providence Journal and the Providence Newspaper Guild, which represents news and advertising staff at the paper.

    Management is expected to present a contract offer which the union will mull over in the coming days.

    The guild's current, three-year deal expires December 31.

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  • October 19, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Over the last couple of years, a handful of daily newspapers have adopted "pay walls," requiring customers to pay for on-line access to certain stories. The most prominent local adopter: the Newport Daily News.

    The strategy is two-fold: the pay wall is designed, in part, to boost the bottom line for web sites that have proven poor profit centers; but it is also meant to drive some customers back to the more lucrative paper-and-ink version.

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  • October 08, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Let me say, up front, that there is a touch of hypocrisy in what I'm about to say. This reporter, as much as any, is guilty of focusing on the "horse race" rather than candidates' records during campaign season. But in my defense, that's our shtick here at the Phoenix. We're small, we're the alt-weekly, it's what we do.

    The ProJo is certainly obligated to cover the horse race, too.

    Read More

  • September 14, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Primary Day is here and it's as good a time as any to take a look at the ProJo's coverage of what many have called Rhode Island's best political year in a generation.

    The paper has had a few good scoops - witness columnist Ed Fitzpatrick's recent piece on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio meeting with the Republican National Committee in February amid speculation that he might run as a Republican.

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  • September 09, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    Providence Journal sources say reporter Phil Marcelo, who covers the city of Providence, will fill the vacancy in the paper's three-member State House bureau.

    The slot has been open since former ProJo scribe Steve Peoples left the paper to join Washington-based political publication Roll Call in July.

    The bureau, one of the most demanding outposts at the paper, has traditionally been a site of rapid turnover.

    Read More

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