Providence Journal business writer Paul Grimaldi is leaving the newspaper to become the public information officer for the state Department of Revenue, effective November 30.
Grimaldi has delivered daily and in-depth reporting on a host of business stories -- most notably the 38 Studios saga -- since he came to the ProJo in 2002, so his departure marks a blow to Fountain Street.
Grimaldi said his decision to leave the statewide daily was influenced by the cost of college for his two children. "It's the right time for me and my family," he said. "This seems to be a smart move at the right time."
At the same time, Grmaldi said the move was also influenced by "a sense of diminishing resources" on Fountain Street and a belief that reporters are being asked "to do too many things at once."
Grimaldi will soon join the large number of talented staffers who have left the Providence Journal in roughly the last 15 years -- with some departing for other opportunities, and others exiting due to layoffs and/or buy outs.
GateHouse Media bought the ProJo in 2014 from A.H. Belo, which itself had acquired the paper from its former local ownership in 1997
An East Providence native, Grimaldi worked as a night editor at the Patriot Ledger, based in Quincy, Massachusetts, before coming to the Journal 13 years ago -- a move, he said, that legitimized his career in the eyes of his family.
He moved months later into the business beat and reported on a fertile vein of stories, ranging from a complex examination of the performance of Providence Place to a slice of life look at one woman's pursuit of her holiday presents. Spending a few days trailing the woman, Grimaldi said, led her young son to think the reporter was Santa's helper.
Grimaldi helped to explain complicated financial stories and spend a lot of time following the trail from the 2012 bankruptcy of 38 Studios. The departing business reporter said the trend away from specialized beats at some newspapers "is not a good trend overall for people who need information."
Grimaldi's last day on the job at the ProJo is November 27. "I enjoyed working with the people at the Journal and many of the [stories] I did there," he said. "I'm certainly going to miss that."