Sun Journal Hospital Series a Bright Spot
Medical jackpot: For three years, the Lewiston Sun Journal and reporter Lindsay Tice have been tracking hospital expenses in Maine. The latest edition of this important annual series appeared March 18 and once again revealed that the high cost of health care has some surprising causes. Tice dug deep to uncover not only the huge salaries paid to CEOs at some of the state’s smallest medical centers, but also the sizable advertising budgets for these facilities and the effect expanding hospitals has on local property taxes and sewer bills.
This comprehensive report is the sort of journalism that should have an immediate impact on both public perception and public policy when dealing with health care costs. Tice and the Sun Journal have provided a solid basis for re-examining many of the assumptions that are routinely tossed around in this debate. It would be wonderful to see more in-depth pieces of this quality in the Sun Journal – and in the rest of the Maine media.
Wasser won’t go: Scott Wasser, the former executive editor of the MaineToday Media newspapers, may have been ousted from the executive offices of the company, but his photo and byline keep showing up. His weekly column reviewing new cars still appears in MTM’s Maine Sunday Telegram.
As in the days when Wasser was in charge of the paper’s content, there’s no disclaimer on the piece explaining who loaned him the vehicles he reviews. And the tagline on the column seems to be aimed at readers with extremely short memories. It identifies Wasser only as a “freelance auto writer.”
Still missing the old homestead: An alert reader emailed to point out that if someone accesses the MaineToday Media-owned Kennebec Journal on its mobile app, the copyright notification lists the company address as 274 Western Avenue in Augusta, which hasn’t been the newspaper’s home in a year or so and is currently a pile of rubble.
Game over: WCSH-TV’s Bruce Glasier is retiring in April, after thirty-five years covering local and regional sports. Bill Green, another Channel 6 sportscaster, put together a tribute to Glasier, the last of the Portland market’s old-school broadcast jocks.
Glasier’s departure also appears to mark a significant downgrading of the importance of sports on WCSH’s newscasts. Online posters note that there are now times when the station’s six p.m. newscast doesn’t even contain a sports report.
Triumph triumphs: As rumored in many places in recent weeks, WPME-TV, licensed to Lewiston but physically located in Portland, has been sold. Triumph bought the MNT affiliated station from MPS Media for a mere $75,000. That’s the same bargain price paid for WPXT-TV in Portland by Tyche Broadcasting a couple of weeks ago, when it bought the CW affiliate from CP Media.
The two stations had been jointly managed by WPXT. No word on whether that arrangement will continue once the sales close, but it’s unlikely viewers will notice much difference no matter who’s throwing the switches.
Al Diamon can be emailed at email@example.com.