Envision this: I took plenty of flack from fans of Colin Woodard’s investigative reporting for my recent posting criticizing him for not disclosing in his two-part biography of Republican Gov. Paul LePage in the Portland Phoenix that his wife is involved with OneMaine, a political action committee started by Eliot Cutler.
Guild girds loins: The Portland Newspaper Guild has rejected a request by the 2100 Trust, potential new investors in MaineToday Media, to make huge concessions in wages and working conditions covered in the current contract. As a result, the company could be forced into bankruptcy in the near future.
Less than a month after the Portland Newspaper Guild reached agreement on a new contract with MaineToday Media – publisher of the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel – the future of that deal is in question.
Skewed skewering: Scarcely a day goes by that I don’t receive an email or a phone call complaining about bias in the Maine media. Nearly every week, I have my happy hour beer interrupted by somebody convinced the journalistic establishment is out to get them and anyone who thinks like they do. And the state’s political blogs are rife with vague claims of stories deliberately slanted in one fashion or another.
I take all these gripes seriously.
No, really, I do.
Colin Woodard has a lot of enemies.
I know. I’ve heard from a sizable portion of them in the last two days, ever since the first part of Woodard’s lengthy biography of Republican Gov. Paul LePage appeared in the Jan. 13 issue of the Portland Phoenix.
Connor’s legacy: The Jan. 11 Portland Daily Sun has a fascinating story by David Carkhuff on the financial health of the MaineToday Media newspapers, which include the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel. According to documents filed in a court case against MTM, the company owes $7.6 million to RBS Citizens, N.A., a Delaware-based lender that has placed a lien on all MaineToday’s assets.
Secret plans and sacks of cash: On Jan. 6, MaineToday Media – owner of the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel – announced that a group of investors called the 2100 Trust LLC was buying a majority share of the struggling company.
When you have to shut up: Reporters and editors are generally big supporters of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. They bristle at any attempt to limit the information they can convey to the public.
Screwy situation: On Dec. 29, the Lewiston Sun Journal ran a story from the Bangor Daily News that contained this seemingly contradictory description of court testimony in an arson trial:
“Crabtree last week admitted to having sex with MacIntyre but denied having a physical relationship with her.”
Thirty minutes a week is not enough: The Maine Public Broadcasting Network isn’t shy about tooting its own horn. In the Dec. 28 Bangor Daily News, Helen Sloane Dudman, an MPBN trustee emeritus, has an op-ed extolling the “overall superiority” of its offerings.