Monks May Be Bidding For MaineToday
Another contender: The New Maine Times website is reporting that Robert C.S. Monks and Michael Payson may be trying to buy MaineToday Media, publisher of three daily newspapers in the state. Monks is currently a MaineToday board member and minor investor in the company. Payson of Falmouth is a real estate developer and publisher of Smart HomeOwner magazine.
The Times story cited sources at MaineToday for its information. If those sources are correct, the Monks-Payson bid would be in competition with that of 2100 Trust LLC, which was announced last month. Since the MTM board has already reached agreement to sell to 2100 Trust if unspecified conditions are met, it’s not clear whether it could even entertain a new proposal, unless 2100 drops out. It’s also unclear what Monks’ role in any sale would be, since he appears to have a conflict of interest as both a board member and potential buyer.
It seems unlikely the MaineToday papers – the Portland Press Herald, Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal – will be clarifying the situation in their news reports. The company appears to have a policy of almost never mentioning Monks’ involvement in stories it covers.
Self-produced titillation: In his Feb. 1 column, the Press Herald’s Bill Nemitz makes a valid point about the exploitive national coverage of Ayla Reynolds case, much of which has been inaccurate and downright sleazy.
Too bad, though, that Nemitz didn’t point out that the local coverage has been equally at fault.
Several of the very pieces he cites as examples of media excess – the inconclusive stories on the parents’ polygraph tests, the same parents’ self-serving interviews – are ones that the Maine media (including the Press Herald and its sister papers) have splashed across their front pages, newscasts and blogs with as few signs of restraint as Nancy Grace and her ilk.
Nemitz’s column would have been far more powerful – and truthful – if he’d held his employer and his local competitors to the same standards he finds the national media so heinous for violating.
Al Diamon can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.