Looks like the hatchet’s out in full force at the Providence Journal. Gatehouse Media entered into an agreement to acquire Gannett…the folks who brought us USA Today or as some refer to it McPAPER …. back in August and the Gannett philosophy took over quickly. That philosophy has accelerated as fast as COVID 19. With the spread of the virus comes a drying up of advertising dollars for the already struggling print industry and Gannett, the newspaper group that owns nearly 300 daily newspapers, has been on a tear laying off journalists nationwide over the past week. Last week alone, the Pro Jo laid off one of its longest serving employees. Janet Butler worked behind the scenes in multiple capacities for over 50 years. She was laid off just four months before her planned retirement. Then 30 year veteran sportswriter Kevin McNamara got his walking papers and on Sunday, a mysterious “personal note to readers” from editorial editor Ed Achorn telling of his departure. The word “retirement” was nowhere to be found so one can only assume he got pink slipped. The times are brutal for industries relying on advertising dollars with print media swimming in a sea of red ink. Buddy Cianci used to jokingly call the Pro-Jo “THE PAMPHLET” as it shrunk in size annually….a joke no more.