Tuesday, January 05, 2021
Providence Business News, which was forced to stop printing during a portion of the pandemic, has announced that it will cut back from a weekly to twice monthly.
The business publication that may be best known for bestowing awards has also made staff reductions in the newsroom. The total number impacted is not known. Requests for comment were not returned.
The paper’s mission is “to be the trusted business news and information source for the Rhode Island and Southeastern MA business community providing timely, insightful, in-depth and breaking news coverage that advances individual and company growth and success in local, state and global markets.”
The plight of small weekly newspapers is growing due to the shift to digital as well as growing distribution issues.
The Washington Post on Monday wrote, “The U.S. Postal Service has been under siege for months as record volumes of holiday packages and election mail ran up against a spike in coronavirus cases within its workforce, leaving the agency severely short-staffed. Nearly 19,000 workers were in quarantine at the end of 2020 after becoming infected or exposed to the virus, according to the American Postal Workers Union.
The Post continued, “That has left hundreds of small publishers struggling to deliver their products, according to the National Newspaper Association, undercutting their advertising revenues and subscriber bases, and depriving the largely rural communities they serve of crucial news coverage. Some news operations have even called on reporters and editors to deliver papers. They’re also staring down rate increases of as much as 9 percent in 2022 and for years thereafter.”
In recent months, dailies like the Providence Journal, owned by Gannett, have seen a mass exodus even from depleted newsrooms.
In Providence, the decimated Journal, whose newsroom continues to shrink, has seen executive editor Alan Rosenberg, reporter Emily List, and long-time photographer Sandor Bodo leave the paper in the past few weeks.
Gannett, the parent company of the two Rhode Island papers, told its business side employees that 485 of their jobs will be outsourced to India early in the next couple of months, according to Poynter.