Portland Press Herald

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Portland Press Herald (logo).png
Portland Press Herald front page.jpg
The April 4, 2007, front page of the
Portland Press Herald
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) MaineToday Media Inc.
Editor Cliff Schechtman
Founded 1862 (1862)
Headquarters 390 Congress Street,
Portland, Maine 04101-5009, United States
Circulation 47,326 weekdays
44,358 Saturdays
76,015 Sundays in 2012[1]

4.6 million pageviews/month in November 2011[2]
OCLC number 9341113
Official website MaineToday.com
The Portland Press-Herald (lower right) shares a unique building on Congress Street with Bank One in downtown Portland, Maine.

The Portland Press Herald (and Maine Sunday Telegram; collectively known as The Portland Newspapers) publish daily newspapers in Portland Maine, USA. Serving the state's largest and principal commercial city, as well as much of southern Maine, the Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram form the largest-circulation newsroom in the state.

The Portland Newspapers throughout most of the 20th century were the cornerstone of Guy Gannett Communications's media holdings, which included two other daily newspapers in Maine. In 1998, these newspapers were sold to The Seattle Times Company; ten years later, they were purchased by MaineToday Media.

History[edit]

The Press Herald was founded in 1862 on Congress Street. Notable alumni of the paper include longtime Washington correspondent May Craig and current Boston Herald sports columnist Steve Buckley.

On March 17, 2008, the Press Herald converted from its traditional multi-section format to two sections. A brief editorial highlighted advertising concerns and said the other sections could be found online. The next day, The Seattle Times Company, its owner at the time, announced that it was putting the Press Herald and its other Maine newspaper properties up for sale.[3]

After more than a year on the market, on June 15, 2009, the papers were sold to MaineToday Media, Inc., headed by Maine native Richard L. Connor, publisher of The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, with financing from HM Capital Partners and Citizens Bank.[4] Although MaineToday originally announced a plan to move the paper's offices out of downtown into the South Portland printing plant,[5] it was later reported that the company's headquarters would move to One City Center in downtown Portland.[6]

As part of the sale, Portland Newspaper Guild members a 10 percent pay cut in exchange for 15 percent ownership in MaineToday Media. More than 30 non-union jobs were eliminated.[7]

Bureaus[edit]

The Portland Newspapers formerly maintained news bureaus in Augusta, Biddeford, Bath, and Washington, DC; all were closed in July 2008.[8] The papers continue to operate six circulation depots, in Bath, Saco, Sanford, South Portland, Windham and Yarmouth, Maine. The daily Press Herald circulates six days per week in five counties: Cumberland, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc and York. On Sundays, the Maine Sunday Telegram is sold statewide.

MaineToday Media also owns the Central Maine Newspapers, publisher of the Morning Sentinel in Waterville and the Kennebec Journal in Augusta; and Maine Community Publications, which publishes The Coastal Journal, a community newspaper serving the Bath-Brunswick area.

Editorial line[edit]

The Press Herald and Sunday Telegram editorial board was once generally viewed to have center-left political views. It endorsed the 2003 Iraq War, but has since criticized the war's execution. In Maine's 2006 campaign for governor it endorsed John Baldacci, the incumbent Democrat, who was reelected. In the 2004 presidential election, the paper endorsed Democrat John Kerry, who won Maine but lost the national election. In 2008, it endorsed Barack Obama, who won both Maine and the general election.

However, under Richard Connor, the paper moved to the center, causing some in relatively liberal Portland to abandon the paper in favor of the city's free daily newspaper, The Portland Daily Sun, or for the Bangor Daily News, which made inroads into the Portland market.[9] In 2010, it endorsed conservative Republican candidates (Dean Scontras and Jason Levesque) in both of Maine's congressional districts.[10] They were both defeated by the Democratic incumbents, Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud. For Maine's gubernatorial election that same year, it endorsed moderate independent former Democrat Eliot Cutler, a close friend of Connor, who came in second with 34% of the vote.

On October 28, 2011, Connor announced his resignation effective December 31, 2011.[11]

Online[edit]

The Press Herald and Sunday Telegram website, and those of its sister papers, are part of MaineToday Media's MaineToday.com portal.

The domain name Portland.com was originally the Web address for the papers, but was sold to a marketing firm and became a visitor's guide for the city of Portland, Oregon in May 2004.

Anti-Semitism controversy[edit]

The Religion and Values section of the Saturday, February 3, 2007, edition of the Press Herald included an ad from the First Baptist Church of South Portland, which listed the sermon as "The Only Way to Destroy the Jewish Race". This caused outrage in Greater Portland's Jewish Community[12] and led to an apology by the minister of that church.[13]

However, less than two weeks later, People's Choice Credit Union ran an ad in the February 14, 2007, edition of the Press Herald that depicted a bearded "Fee Bandit" that resembled a Hasidic Jew, eager to take people's money.[14] This incident prompted investigations by the Anti-Defamation League; Steven Wessler, director of the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence and the person in charge of dealing with hate crimes in the state; and the Jewish Community Alliance. The newspaper's management later apologized for printing the advertisements in question without checking them first, and said it they would scrutinize ad content more closely before printing.[13][15]

Prices[edit]

The Press Herald daily price is $1.00. The Sunday Telegram price is $1.75 in southern Maine and $2.00 elsewhere.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FAS-FAX Report: Circulation Averages for the Six Months Ended March 31, 2012". Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ QuantcastQuantcast numbers
  3. ^ Harkavy, Jerry. "Seattle Times Co. Puts Maine Newspapers Up for Sale". Bangor Daily News, Bangor, Maine, Page 9, March 18, 2008. Accessed February 7, 2012.
  4. ^ "MaineToday Media Acquires Maine Newspapers, Online Information Portal and Related Real Estate Assets". Business Wire, June 15, 2009. Retrieved on September 14, 2010.
  5. ^ "Newspaper's Downtown Buildings to Be Sold". Portland Press Herald, Page A1, July 17, 2009.
  6. ^ "Newspaper Moving to Space in One City Center." Portland Press Herald, Page A1, February 26, 2010.
  7. ^ "New Owner: Maine Papers Poised to be Profitable". The Seattle Times, June 16, 2009.
  8. ^ Guttman, Jeannine. "New Chapter Ahead for Staff, Paper". Maine Sunday Telegram, July 6, 2008.
  9. ^ "Media Mutt: Bangor Daily News Beefs Up"
  10. ^ "Our Endorsements for Congress". Portland Press Herald, October 24, 2010.
  11. ^ Richard Connor steps down as CEO of MaineToday Media, Bangor Daily News, October 28, 2011
  12. ^ Conroy, Erin, and James Vaznis. "Anti-Semitism Sermon Title Rankles Maine Jews". The Boston Globe, February 5, 2007.
  13. ^ a b "Dateline World Jewry", April 2007, World Jewish Congress
  14. ^ Erskine, Rhonda. "Credit Union, Newspaper Apologize for Controversial Ad". WSCH6.com, February 16, 2007.
  15. ^ "Newspaper Vows Closer Scrutiny of Ad Content". Portland Press Herald.

External links[edit]