Extra, Extra! A Newspaper Expands
Expansion exploration: The Bangor Daily News is looking into expanding its weekly newspaper business. A representative of the paper’s advertising staff was recently in Knox and Waldo counties asking local businesspeople about their interest in a new publication. (Disclosure: My weekly political column runs in the Village Soup newspapers, which also serve Knox and Waldo counties.)
“We’re exploring things,” said BDN executive editor Mark Woodward, “but no decision has been made to do anything. We’re trying to find out what’s feasible.”
Woodward said the company is seeking new sources of revenue, as advertising and circulation at the daily paper continue to decline. He said the mid-coast isn’t the only part of the state where the BDN is conducting research on the market for a weekly.
“We’re exploring all options,” he said. “There are other places we’re looking.”
He declined to specify what areas were being considered.
The News already publishes The Weekly, a feature-heavy tabloid that’s distributed in the Greater Bangor area (the paper is not currently available online). Woodward said that paper is doing “quite well,” but any new publication wouldn’t necessarily follow the same format.
“Every region has its own identity,” he said. “We want to be sure any publication conforms to the regional identity.”
Woodward said there was no timetable for a decision on whether to launch a new weekly. He said the BDN is also considering some new online options to increase revenues.
Reporter deporter: According to pseudonymous blogger T. Cushing Munjoy, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville has fired staff writer Joel Elliott, one of its best and most experienced reporters. Elliott, who has done freelance work for the New York Times and other major publications, was terminated by editor Eric Conrad on January 26.
Conrad had not returned a call seeking more information by the time this entry was posted online, but I’ll add any comments from him as soon as they become available.
Munjoy, who has previously limited his blogging to critiques of the Portland Press Herald (which, like the Sentinel, is owned by the Blethen Maine Newspapers), promises more details “directly.”
Television revision: WCSH-TV, Channel 6 in Portland won’t be vanishing from the radio dial when all television stations go digital. According to the Press Herald, WCSH has reached an agreement with Nassau Broadcasting to carry the audio portion of Channel 6’s newscasts on 870 AM and 1470 AM from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
WCSH is currently available on the FM band at 87.7, due to a fluke in the way broadcasting channels align, but that will cease when the station ends analog transmission, either in February or June, depending on congressional action.
The two Nassau stations are currently airing ESPN sports radio, but will be switching to an oldies format on Feb. 2, when they’re not running WCSH’s news.
Al Diamon can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.