ProJo Watch

As always, Ian Donnis has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on at the Journal. Working off of his initial story about ProJo parent Belo Corp cutting around 500 jobs throughout the company, Ian also found out that ProJo will cut around 50 jobs or seek buyouts. He’s talked to some veterans over on Fountain Street to get their thoughts:

A source indicates that Kathy Gregg, the Journal’s longtime State House bureau chief, will not consider the buyout.
Metro columnist Bob Kerr, 63, says that he’d like to work indefinitely, but that he will feel compelled to consider the buyout. “I don’t want to have to be told, ‘If you stay, then some promising young reporter has to go,’ ” Kerr says. “I hope it doesn’t come to that yet.”
Political reporter Scott MacKay says, “You’ve got to think about it given the state of the industry. It’s something a lot of veteran reporters are going to have to think seriously about.”
Medical reporter Felice Freyer says she can’t possibly even consider it, because she’s can’t afford it, and that a lot of people who might otherwise be logical choices to take the buyout won’t do so, because “people don’t feel like there are other opportunities out there for them.”
Political columnist M. Charles Bakst, who had previously been thinking about retiring next year, says of the buyout, “I am definitely considering it.”

Those are some substantial names.

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Tim
Tim
12 years ago

Too bad about Kathy Gregg staying. She’s no more a legit reporter than Karen Lee Ziner or Steve Peoples. It’s all agenda all the time on the ‘news’ pages of the Projo. Gregg’s far too cozy with the Democrats to be taken seriously.

chuckR
chuckR
12 years ago

They could assure Bakst’s departure by springing for weekly all you can eat and pocket buffets for a couple of years.
These days, I often don’t bring the paper in until after work – the news could hardly be any more stale after 8 additional hours.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

As I so crudely put it on the Dan Yorke show this afternoon.Merrill Charles Bakst will be missed by most people about as much as an impacted stool.The epitome of limousine liberal-matched by Steven Brown and Rabbi Flam-all “Barrington Boys”.Well insulated from the people they pretend to care about.
Kerr isn’t nearly as bad.He’s good about half the time.The other half he seems to be marching to music only he can hear.Remember Charles Grodin doing word salads on late night tv?
Kathy Gregg has in fact taken on big Democrats-she isn’t all that terrible of a reporter when it comes to sniffing out ethics issues and corrupt practices.
Karen Ziner is beyond the pale as a promoter of illegal aliens.She should get a column and quit pretending to be a reporter.Steve Peoples is just as bad.Cynthia Needham is a fellow traveller of theirs also.
And not to pick only on liberals,what the hell is up with Ed Achorn conveniently neglecting to disclose his relationship to the head of the apparently corrupt Education Partnership?He comes across as holier than thou so much it serves him right to get caught like this.His”I am of old Mayflower stock” attitude sucks out loud.I never realized he had such an essential position at the Projo.Stupid me.

Rasputin
Rasputin
12 years ago

Hey Joe,
Maybe those people you mentioned (with the exception of Achorn) will start bemoaning the layoffs of workers in the private sector (Amgen, Ratheon, G-Tech, ect…) when they get laid off from now on. It seems like they’re overly concerned when a state employee loses his or her job, but don’t bat an eye when a private sector worker gets laid off. I guess private sector workers don’t have bills to pay or families to feed.

Rasputin
Rasputin
12 years ago

Hey Joe,
Maybe those people you mentioned (with the exception of Achorn) will start bemoaning the layoffs of workers in the private sector (Amgen, Ratheon, G-Tech, ect…) when they get laid off from now on. It seems like they’re overly concerned when a state employee loses his or her job, but don’t bat an eye when a private sector worker gets laid off. I guess private sector workers don’t have bills to pay or families to feed.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Why do some people believe Ed Achorn had an obligation to disclose that he was the husband of Valerie Forti of the Education Partnership?
He’s entitled to his opinions, regardless of who his spouse is. Who his spouse is is irrellevent and nobody’s business.
Does it occur to anyone that so much of what Achorn has been carping about all these years is now, unfortunately, reality (i.e. the State is on the verge of bankruptcy due to the stranglehold the Entitlement-minded Unions have on the GA).
Too bad the Ed-Partnership went belly up, but it happens. Too bad they can’t just send the bill to the Taxpayers, like the teachers’ Union does.
In any event, the Ed-Partnership did good lasting work and started the conversation that continues to this day with respect to the lunacy that is Union Teacher Contracts, that have NOTHING to do with Teaching or Children. Just ask Patrick “I struggle with basic math” Crowley how effective the Ed-Partnership was. He spent the better part of his time in futile efforts to defend against them.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

George-I was referring to the lack of acountability with regard to the money donated by Allan Shawn Feinstein-they wouldn’t tell him anything about how it was being used and it was his money.That just doesn’t sound normal to me.Students who earned scholarships had their funds misapplied it looks like.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

JB,
Even if it is as you say (i.e. the Ed Partnership was corrupt), it is still irrellevent with respect to Ed Achorn. He works for the ProJo, NOT the EdPartnership.
And I am quite sure the EdPartnership is NOT corrupt …perhaps incompetant when managing books & records, but not corrupt.
In any event, but for Ed Achorn, we’d have no one shinning a light on the important issues that he raises. I’ll take him any day of the week over the alternatives, with or without the Mayflower references.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

George-it’s been a long while since I bought a Projo.I get my news elsewhere.i do check their online edition to see what new outrageous crap is coming out of Ziner.

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
12 years ago

Hi!
I will confess when he retires I will miss M. Charles Bakst! Charlie is an icon in Rhode Island whether you agree with him or not. I enjoy knowing Scott MacKay also. I don’t Kathy Gregg as well. I have known Dave Husband who lives in Hopkinton a number of years.
Of course I know some of the South County Bureau.
Providence Journal employees and reporters are humans too! I realize they may not tend to different in attitudes/beliefs to most on this blog and their philosophies may be different from some of ours, but their job situation obviously has to be important to them. While criticism of coverage may be justified, I think at times for example things should make “The Political Scene” or other coverage
you need to make them aware of it.
I will continue to praise or criticize the press as I see fit. But they are human even if they tend to be more liberal and Democratic leaning than the rest of us!
Regards,
Scott Bill Hirst
Member, Hopkinton Town Council,1996-2004 and candidate in 2008
Vice Chairman, Hopkinton Republican Town Committee

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
12 years ago

Hi!
A tip: Edward Eachorn is a Providence Grays expert the old time baseball team that played baseball the old way. He spoke at the Ashaway Free Library a while back. If you ever need a guest speaker consider him!
Regards,
Scott

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Joe,
You said:”I was referring to the lack of acountability with regard to the money donated by Allan Shawn Feinstein”
If one truly gives something away one has no say on its use after it has left one’s hands.
If Feinstein put no conditions on the money, then its use is of no consequence to him. If he doesn’t like its previous use he can opt out of the process.
OldTimeLefty

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

OTL-do you feel some obligation to disagree with me as a matter of principle?There were conditions-the money was for scholarship designees,according to Feinstein.It may not have found its way into their hands,and if you don’t think that is a serious problem I really don’t know what to say.
I’ve noticed that in RI if you speak with a total stranger for 5 minutes,you probably will find out you know someone in common.Conflict of interest is almost a given here.

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

Joe,
We usually disagree based upon our world views. As Tony Soprano would say, “It’s business. It’s not personal.”
Really now, I might agree with you that it was ill spent, but my point remains, once you give a thing you let go of it and the “givee” has complete rights to its disposal. In simple terms, once you let go it ain’t yours anymore.
Mr. Feinstein is a shrewd businessman, but if he gave the money with no strings attached he has no legitimate complaint.
OldTimeLefty

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

OTL-this discussion isn’t right/left,or even political-it has to be determined by a neutral third party if in fact,the stewards of the funds had agreed to certain conditions-fair enough?At the risk of sounding like people I often go after,it is about the kids in this case.
You have to give me a +2 handicap today-I just got home from the VA hospital where the docs removed another malignant oral tumor under general anesthesia and I’m on vicodin(heh,heh).

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