Portland Press Herald bulks up reporting as 3 Maine weeklies close

Morning Sentinel | DownEast.com | Portland Press Herald
First, the bad news: Bangor, Maine-based Hometown Newspapers LLC has shuttered three weeklies: SV Weekly, the Highlands Journal-Moosehead Times and the Citizen Journal. Robert Pushard, Hometown’s publisher, says the print closures are part of an online push for the new Penobscot Valley Explorer in Lincoln, which will also publish a print product. Pushard’s vision, via Doug Harlow:

Pushard pointed out that area residents who go south for the winter will be able to get their local news simply by going online.

“Social media is a big part of our new product,” he said.

The Penobscot Valley Explorer currently tells such news-seekers: “We are working on bringing some of the content here to the website. Please check back later for the latest news.”

The move, Al Diamon reports, will cashier one job at Hometown.

BUT: The Portland Press Herald has hired two reporters! Steve Mistler joins the paper from the Sun Journal in Lewiston; he’ll cover state politics. Freelancer Colin Woodard was hired, too; he’ll cover “campaign finances, ocean policy and politics,” the paper reports. The Press Herald (which also publishes as the Maine Sunday Telegram) is owned by MaineToday Media, which recently refinanced its ownership, giving financier Donald Sussman 75 percent ownership of the company. Cliff Schechtman, the Press Herald’s executive editor, says the paper will hire more reporters soon.

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