Beacon Communications (publisher)
|Headquarters||1944 Warwick Avenue, Warwick, Rhode Island 02889 United States|
|John I. Howell Jr., publisher
Richard G. Fleischer, general manager
|Products||Three weekly newspapers in Rhode Island|
Begun in 1969 by John Howell and Anthony Ritacco, as a vehicle to purchase the Warwick Beacon, the company was called Southern Rhode Island Publications until 1987. Howell took sole possession of the company in the 1980s, with Richard Fleischer coming on as the general manager.
In addition to its three weekly newspapers, Beacon publishes the Penny$aver shopper in Cranston and Warwick; ChamberWorks, a business publication; and PrimeTime, a seniors-oriented monthly magazine distributed statewide.
- Cranston Herald
- Founded in 1922, the Herald was for a long time run by Rosalie Frost, a former Rockette who in the 1930s became a groundbreaking female journalist. She sold the paper to Beacon shortly after 1973, when the company had started a competing weekly, Cranston Today. The papers were merged under the Herald name. Today's Herald is a paid-subscription Thursday paper. Today, Dan Kittredge serves as editor while Howell remains as publisher.
- Johnston Sun Rise
- Beacon purchased the weekly Johnston Sun Rise in 2006. The paper is set up as a tabloid and is free of charge. It is also edited by Dan Kittredge.
- Warwick Beacon
- The company's flagship publication, the Warwick Beacon, dates back to November 19, 1953. It switched from weekly to twice-weekly publication (currently Tuesdays and Thursdays) in the 1970s. The sports section for the paper is run by a two-person team that also edits the sports section for the Herald. Under the direction of editor William Geoghegan and assistant editor Kevin Pomeroy, the department covers a total of seven high schools between the three cities. Howell remains an active reporter for the paper, in addition to his role as editor-in-chief.
Sisters and competitors
In addition to the former Cranston Today, the company has launched several other complementary products. Beacon founded the Coventry Townsman and Seekonk Sentinel in the early 1970s, later selling them to other owners; and Newport Today (now called Newport This Week).
Beacon's papers compete with The Providence Journal in the state's capital city, which borders Johnston and Cranston.
All three Beacon newspapers are members of Rhode Island Newspaper Group, an advertising sales consortium that consists of five weekly newspaper publishers in suburban Providence. Beacon is the coordinating office for the group; other members are Breeze Publications, East Bay Newspapers, Hathaway Publishing and Southern Rhode Island Newspapers.