Portland Press Herald

Portland Press Herald
Portland Press Herald front page.jpg
The April 4, 2007 front page of the
Portland Press Herald
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner MaineToday Media, Inc.
Publisher Richard L. Connor
Editor Richard L. Connor
Founded 1862
Headquarters 390 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04101-5009  United States
Circulation 58,054 daily, 90,523 Sunday in 2009[1]
Official website MaineToday.com

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 most commercially important city, as well as much of southern Maine, the Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram form the largest-circulation newsroom in Maine.

The Portland Newspapers throughout most of the 20th century were the cornerstone of Guy Gannett Communications's media holdings. In 1998, the local owner sold the papers to Blethen Maine Newspapers, part of the Seattle Times family of newspapers, owned by the Blethen family, which has Maine roots but is now based in Washington.[2]

On Monday, March 17, 2008, the Press Herald released a smaller, 2-section newspaper (in contrast to its traditional 4+ section paper). A brief editorial highlighted advertising concerns and said the other sections could be found online. The next day, The Seattle Times Company, parent company of Blethen Maine Newspapers, 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, the papers were sold to MaineToday Media, Inc, headed by Richard L. Connor, publisher of The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on July 15, 2009.[4] Mr. Connor received financing from HM Capital Partners and Citizens Bank.[5] It was announced the next day that the newspaper's downtown buildings would be put up for sale and that the majority of the paper's offices would be moved to the printing plant in South Portland.[6] It was later reported that the company's headquarters would move to One City Center in downtown Portland.[7]


Statewide reach

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 South Portland, Windham, Yarmouth, Bath, Saco and Sanford, 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, Inc 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 Maine Switch, a free weekly lifestyle magazine serving Greater Portland, and The Coastal Journal, a community newspaper serving the Bath-Brunswick area. The Maine Switch suspended publication after the August 6, 2009 issue[1]; in April 2011 it was replaced by an over-run of free copies of the arts-oriented "Go" section from the Thursday Press Herald. That over-run was suspended November 2011.


The Press Herald, 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.

Its 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 has moved sharply to the right, 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 has moved into the Portland market.[9] In 2010, it endorsed conservative Republican candidates (Dean Scontras and Jason Levesque) in both of Maine's congressional districts, both of whom deny that global climate change is caused by human activity. Both were also vehemently pro-life.[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, the resignation of Connor was announced effective December 31, 2011.[11]


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

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]


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


  1. ^ Audit Bureau of Circulations "e-Circ" data for six months ending 31 March 2009.
  2. ^ "History of the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram". Accessed May 27, 2007.
  3. ^ "Seattle Times Co. puts Maine newspapers up for sale"
  4. ^ http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20090615006483/en/MaineToday-Media-Acquires-Maine-Newspapers-Online-Information "MaineToday Media Acquires Maine Newspapers, Online Information Portal and Related Real Estate Assets" Business Wire, dateline June 15, 2009; retrieved on September 14, 2010
  5. ^ Press Herald Sold, Portland Press Herald, Page A1 July 16, 2009
  6. ^ Newspaper's downtown buildings to be sold, Portland Press Herald, Page A1 July 17, 2009
  7. ^ Newspaper moving to space in One City Center,Portland Press Herald, Page A1 Feb 26, 2010
  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. ^ http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/state/070217ad.html "Newspaper vows closer scrutiny of ad content". Portland Press Herald

External links

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