The Ax Falls at Blethen
Staff at the Blethen Maine Newspapers got the word this afternoon. Much of the senior editorial team at the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel is not being retained by the new owners.
Among those being let go are Jeannine Guttman, executive editor of the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram; Andrew Russell, local news editor at the same papers; John Porter, editorial page editor at the Press Herald and Telegram; Marcia MacVane, who oversaw the Portland papers’ morning Web updates and community news; and Eric Conrad, editor of the KJ and Sentinel.
According to a reliable source, the dismissed editors will receive severance packages. The source also said senior staff members who will be kept on when Pennsylvania newspaper publisher Richard Connor assumes control of the papers have been sent letters telling them their jobs are safe.
According to an industry insider, Connor’s purchase of the three dailies and other Blethen properties will be completed within a week. Replacements for Guttman and the other ex-editors have not yet been named.
Al Diamon can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.