In an email to the newsroom of the Providence Journal, executive editor David Butler downplayed a report by Politico indicating that he will serve as interim editor of the embattled Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In the email, the contents of which were described to RIPR, Butler said his time in the Review-Journal newsroom will be short and that he expects to be back in Rhode Island as soon as next week.
Politico reported that Butler, who started on the job as the ProJo's top editor in November, is going to lead the embattled Review-Journal on an interim basis.
Providence Journal staffers were initially very surprised by the report that Butler would be picking up stakes, even temporarily. Yet on Twitter, Pamela Cotter, an assistant managing editor on Fountain Street, tweeted that Politico's report "isn't true." Butler, she said, is staying in his ProJo post while "helping out" the Review-Journal.
Politico revised its story to note an email from Butler saying he expected to be in Las Vegas for only a few days.
The Las Vegas paper has been enmeshed in controversy due to how it was acquired by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and how details of the deal were initially shielded from public view. The Review-Journal continues to be operated by GateHouse Media, the owner of the ProJo, following the Las Vegas newspaper's sale to Adelson.
Butler was unveiled as the Providence Journal's new top editor in October. He has developed a good reputation in the newsroom, in part through meetings with staffers. Unlike previous Journal editors, who have generally avoided talking with the media, Butler took part in a televised interview after starting on the job in Rhode Island.
ProJo editor Janet Hasson, who was out of the office, could not be reached for comment.
Butler's resume includes time as the leader of Digital First Media in California, a group of 75 newspapers.
This report has been updated.