Maine Papers Bought By Bangor Native 

After 15 months of an uncertain future, the sale of a group of Maine newspapers has given employees something to keep writing about.Mainetoday Media Incorporated now owns the Morning Sentinel, Kennebec Journal, Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram.The sale doesn’t come without change though.The four papers once owned by Blethen Seattle Times Group is now the product of Bangor native Richard Conner.Connor, who is CEO of Mainetoday Media Inc, now serves as editor and publisher of three daily papers including the Waterville based Morning Sentinel and the Kennebec Journal in Augusta.The sale also includes the Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram and Mainetoday websites.Quoted in the Morning Sentinel, Richard Connor says the two central Maine papers will not see major changes made in the foreseeable future.But big changes have hit some employees. So far, 31 non-union workers have been let go, and writers for the Sentinel have reported that as many as 100 people could lose their jobs.New contracts have also gone through.”We have to have some concessions, a 10% pay cut, 2 year pay freeze, hard freeze on our pension plan. These were painful concessions, but they were needed in order to for Connor to get financing, and in exchange we get a larger voice in the company and I think a different relationship with the new owner, more of a partnership.””We have to make certain that the economic model here where the expenses are relative to revenues which have been declining in newspapers over the last few years that those two bars come together in a way that makes sense in order to do that we’ll have to trim some expenses.”Those who read the papers will also notice a difference.”We will devote more news to space going forward and I think our readers and advertisers will see a big difference.”That’s the one difference in direction which could ultimately decide the future of these papers.