By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Calling on The Call

From 1976 to ’78, I was a Northeastern co-op student at The Woonsocket Call in Rhode Island, working full-time for about a year in three- and six-month stints. It was a great place to learn how to be a reporter. Managing editor Bill Crouse, city editor Ed Berman and assistant city editor Jim Anagnostos (whose family published The Hellenic Chronicle in Boston) were all first-rate journalists, and the Palmer family, who owned the paper, took their responsibilities seriously.

Late Monday afternoon, I was driving home from the Providence area and decided on a whim to head up Route 146 to see what The Call’s building and the city looked like these days. The building, at 75 Main St., was apparently closed during COVID and has not been reopened. But the outside was very much as I remembered it.

I don’t recall anyone ever mentioning Samuel S. Foss, who was, according to the plaque in the third photo, the “Father of Woonsocket Journalism.” But in the second photo you can just make out that the paper’s headquarters, built in 1922, was known as the Buell Building. According to Wikipedia, The Call was founded in 1892 by Samuel E. Hudson and Andrew J. McConnell, and among their descendants was Buell W. Hudson.

Today the paper is owned by RISN Operations, a small chain that was launched in Rhode Island in 2007 and that today operates eight small dailies across the country as well as a number of weeklies.

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  1. M. Charles Bakst

    Professor: I was inside the Call building a couple of months ago. The Call and the Pawtucket Times were operating out of a small corner on the left side of the ground floor. It seemed to be more of a business office than a newsroom. There was one person present, a woman who apparently handles ad sales. Any reporters must have been out on assignment or working from home. I was given free copies of the Call and the Times. Except for the front pages they were virtually identical. Also very slim. A lot of renovation work was going on in the building, for apartments. I did a facebook post about this, Best regards, M. Charles Bakst

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