Big Reporting Changes At The Bangor Daily News
The Bangor Daily News sent out an internal email on April 29 announcing several staffing changes and what appears to be an increased emphasis on its online product. I haven’t seen a copy, but the following information is based on interviews with three people who have.
On the bright side, the paper is adding one reporter. A new position will cover the coast, particularly from Rockland south. Christopher Cousins, currently in the Pittsfield bureau, will take that job. Presumably, the new hire will replace Cousins in Somerset County.
Or maybe not. Eric Russell will be leaving the city desk to take over the State House beat. The newbie could fill Russell’s slot in Bangor.
Current Augusta reporter Kevin Miller is shifting to the Ellsworth bureau in June or July when the legislative session ends. Miller will replace retiring veteran reporter Rich Hewitt. In addition to covering Hancock County, Miller will return to the environment beat, a post he filled before being moved to state government. Fellow Ellsworth staffer Bill Trotter will also continue doing enviro-reporting, covering the fishing industry in particular.
While the BDN will be beefing up its news coverage, the memo seems to indicate the results will be most apparent on its website, rather than in print. A person familiar with the plan said, “Print is still paying the bills, although they keep talking about how online is gaining all the time. But this will certainly put more emphasis online.”
The memo also seems to indicate that some work currently done by the copy desk will be turned over to freelancers.
Bangor Daily editor Mike Dowd refused to confirm the changes. "We're not ready to go public with this," Dowd said. "I can't talk about it right at this point." He said he might be able to comment "early next week."
Al Diamon can be emailed at email@example.com.