With its offices in the capital city for over 45 years, Providence Media, publishers of Hey Rhody, So Rhode Island, The Bay, and flagship Providence Monthly recently relocated its offices to Warwick, moving into the Beacon Communications building (owned by John Howell, one of the three partners of Providence Media) at 1944 Warwick Avenue. It’s the first of several moves by the company as it reshapes itself in the wake of pandemic with plans to expand its operations throughout the state.
But let’s start at the beginning. What has grown into Providence Media was ironically started by the Warwick Beacon in 1975 before being purchased the next year by Barry Fain, Richard Fleischer, and John Howell personally. Its first publication actually began life as an alternative weekly before evolving into East Side Monthly and being mailed to every home on the East Side of Providence. Over time, the other regional publications were added to their family of magazines until they now print just under 100,000 magazines per month and continue to grow.
Surviving the pandemic was not easy and has forced everyone in the publishing business to reinvent ways to produce their papers and reach customers. Providence Media quickly learned that by allowing its staff to work remotely while taking advantage of today’s new technology, they have been able to increase efficiency and production capabilities dramatically. This has allowed money once spent on expensive office space to be used more effectively.
The final decision for Providence Media was where to relocate. The center of the state made sense given their increasingly statewide coverage and circulation. That one was easy. But so too was the decision to return almost five decades later to share the Beacon office. The opportunity to work side by side with the twice a week Warwick Beacon offered additional opportunities for more investigative journalism plus collaborative news and feature projects.
The three partners are totally committed to the move which begins this month. “The symmetry to this move is perfect," jokes Fleisher, “sort of like salmon returning to their original birth place upstream.” While leaving Providence is bittersweet to Fain, he is convinced that moving their offices to Warwick will bring them all good luck. And as for the third partner, John Howell, the publisher of the Beacon and owner of the building? He was too busy repurposing the building to find spaces for all the new arrivals and was not available for comment.
In terms of operations, Nicholas DelGuidice will continue as the general manager of Providence Media. His goal is straight forward. “My hope is that our readers will continue to enjoy our unique mix of award-winning visuals, insider community news, lifestyle features and humor as much as we enjoy producing it.”
Providence Media: 1944 Warwick Avenue, Warwick, RI 02889