Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Connor of the TL on Starbucks and managing

Have you noticed how those Starbucks coffee shops! They're everywhere!


Anonymous said...

He is the Grand Master of the obvious and the already observed. Can't wait until he has a tubby after being first in line to give McCain a you-know-what at the Republican Fat Cat suck-up party at the Westmorland Club and then tells us about it...That'll be awesome.

Anonymous said...

Anyone catch that strange Guide story by Biebel a few Fridays back? The one where she opened it talking about a dismembered baby's corpse or some such gross news happening from a few years back, then segued cheerfully into describing WBRE's bright new set and news direction? Am I the only one who finds the attempt to connect such things morbid and disturbing?

Anonymous said...

The TL is for sale according to a very solid source.

Anonymous said...

All papers are for sale - if the price is right.

Anonymous said...

I wish Hodell would bravely venture to the roof top for weather during these storms. Shirtless of course.

Anonymous said...

Will someone officially "pronounce" this blog?

Anonymous said...

i know how to pronounce Ho-dell. It's pronounced, "sweet, condescending nothings whispered in my ear."

Anonymous said...

A former Maine senator, two well-known Maine businessmen and a
longtime newspaperman with ties to the state are working to acquire
Blethen Maine Newspapers, which includes the Portland Press Herald/
Maine Sunday Telegram.

Frank Blethen, chairman of Blethen Maine Newspapers, announced
Wednesday that the company has signed a letter of intent with a group
called Maine Media Investments. The agreement provides a limited,
exclusive time period to negotiate terms of a sale.

Those negotiations are expected to begin as soon as possible, both
sides said, but neither would disclose a timeline. They simply
indicated that they hope to conclude the process quickly.

The Maine-based investor group consists of William S. Cohen, a former
Maine senator and U. S. secretary of defense; businessman Robert
Baldacci, brother of Maine Gov. John Baldacci; developer Michael
Liberty; and Richard L. Connor, a Bangor native with 40 years of
experience owning and operating newspapers.

Press Herald Publisher Charles Cochrane emphasized that the letter of
intent does not mean the sale is a done deal.

"What this does is provide a window of time to work out the
arrangements of the sale," he said.

During that time, the company agrees not to pursue sale negotiations
with any other potential buyers.

"We are hoping to do this as quickly as we can," Cochrane said.

The Blethen Maine assets have been for sale since March, when parent
company The Seattle Times said that declining revenue and outstanding
debt made such a move necessary. Since then, the Portland paper has
undergone two rounds of layoffs and cuts, with a new round scheduled
for mid-August to compensate for a projected $1.2 million shortfall
in advertising revenue.

Cochrane said the August layoffs could still happen.

A sale would affect employees at the Press Herald, the Kennebec
Journal in Augusta and the Morning Sentinel in Waterville. Also
included in any sale would be the Web site; The
Coastal Journal, a weekly newspaper in Bath; and a number of nondaily
print publications.

In a prepared statement, Blethen said "this locally-backed ownership
group would provide a favorable outcome for the community, our
readers, our employees and the Blethen family."

He said a sale to this group likely would result in the most seamless
and timely ownership transition.

Though there are other potential buyers, Blethen said they are not
likely to move forward because of a disagreement over the Portland
Newspaper Guild's contract at the Press Herald.

The union believes that a clause in the contract obligates a new
owner to abide by terms of the existing deal; the newspaper company
says that's not the case, and it filed suit against the union in U.S.
District Court in Portland, asking a federal judge to either send the
issue to arbitration or rule that a new owner is not required to
honor the contract.

The union has sought dismissal of that suit.

Tom Bell, the guild's president, said the local investor group, which
the union has had discussions with, looks promising.

He said newspaper employees might have the opportunity to participate
in an employee stock plan under new ownership, giving them a vested
interest in the success of the newspaper.

Bell also praised Blethen Maine Newspapers for "taking a risk to do
this" and pursue local ownership with Maine Media.

"We've been told they want to run a professional newspaper," he said
of the group.

Connor, who was born in Bangor, is editor and publisher of the Wilkes-
Barre (Pa.) Times Leader.

"All of us are driven by our love of Maine and the chance to have
local people and the employees of this company determine the future
destiny of these newspapers in the state," Connor said in a prepared
statement. "We believe in Maine and we still believe in newspapers."

Connor also said that his group intends "to grow this media business."

Cohen heads The Cohen Group, a Washington, D.C.-based group that
provides global business consulting services. His son, Kevin,
president of DoubleMan Media, is expected to join his father in the
newspaper venture.

"We hope we can reach an agreement that allows us to continue the
heritage of strong Maine journalism and public service to the
communities served by these newspapers and to the state," William
Cohen said in a statement.

Cochrane praised the local group, saying it is rooted in Maine and
could provide stable ownership.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

Anonymous said...

Man, did the Voice school the Leader on the Boscov's situation today or what! To read Jerry Lynott's "There's no story here, Boscov's staying open, move along," you'd think he was talking about a different chain and town entirely compared with the Voice's accurate breakdown of exactly how precarious the situation remains. The Voice did a smashing job of explaining just what Chapter 11 is, how the oversight committee will make decisions that will trump the will of good ol' Al, and how no matter how badly Boscov's may want to keep its downtown store open, the prognosis of doing so is bleak once Chapter 11 reorganization takes effect in this economic climate. Great job, Voice; poo-poo effort TL

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding?

If you mean they "schooled the TL", as in, beating a dead horse, then you're accurate. That was just overkill.

Newsworthy, yes. THAT newsworthy? Helllll no.

Anonymous said...

You miss the point: I'm not speaking of the quantity of Boscov's coverage. I'm speaking of the accuracy. And the Leader just plain got it wrong saying Boscov's will remain open and all is sound.

Anonymous said...

If Boscov's closes, will Hodell still do rooftop weather? Shirtless perhaps?

Anonymous said...

OK all you TL bashers, just give it a rest. Unless you start being fair with your comments. The TL had the story days before everyone else and said the chain was in trouble. Your selective reading is amazing.

Anonymous said...

as a former CV worker, I have to agree. Give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

Happy three-month anniversary, post :)