President Barack Obama’s visit to Bar Harbor not only helped spotlight this tourist community around the world, it also was very good for the newspaper business.
The Mount Desert Islander’s issue profiling the First Family’s visit flew off the newsstands, racking up nearly 1,200 more single copy sales than the same week a year earlier.
In the week before the visit, Islander editor Earl Brechlin consulted with Julia Lewis of the Vineyard Gazette on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts to get an idea of what to expect when a sitting president comes to town. The Obamas spent a month on the Vineyard last August. The last president to visit Bar Harbor was William Howard Taft in 1910.
Circulation manager Deborah Tucker also talked with folks at the Gazette. The press run was upped by 1,000 and all island news dealers received an automatic extra draw for the week. Ms. Tucker, general manager Terry Carlisle and the Islander’s editorial staff and ad reps all helped restock stores over the weekend as the calls came in requesting extra papers.
“They are selling like hotcakes,” said one store owner in Northeast Harbor last Saturday.
In downtown Bar Harbor, one outlet that normally sells between 80 and 100 papers a week in July, sold just under 300.
According to Ms. Tucker, returns for the week were very light.
The advertising department also was able to sell some “welcome” ads in advance of the visit and many advertisers scrambled for space in the post-visit edition.
Based on the experiences at the Gazette, the Islander also substantially increased its pressrun and distribution for the post-visit paper but not by as large an amount. “We won’t know the actual numbers for another week,” said Ms. Tucker, “but sales today (Friday) are very brisk.”
The editorial staff of four reporters and two editors produced a package of eight stories crafted from more than 20 exclusive interviews, with photos, a photo spread page, as well as editorial cartoon and an editorial. That is in addition to daily Obama web updates and photos and all the regular news that make a typical peak summer issue.
“There is no question that having the president and his family above the fold is a huge draw,” said Mr. Brechlin.
Click here for a PDF version of the MDI front-page story on the Obama visit.
William P. Davis of Veazie has been named online editor of the Bangor Daily News, and has begun his duties overseeing news content on bangordailynews.com, the paper’s website.
Davis brings highly developed digital media skills and a love for journalism to the position. He replaces Eryk Salvaggio, who recently left the BDN to teach in Japan.
“We need to make the site a lot smarter and really become a central access point for readers,” said Davis, who came to the BDN from the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, where he worked as a copy editor and helped oversee its website. “If there’s something about Maine they want to know — even if it’s not breaking news, if they want to go to dinner tonight — they should go to bangordailynews.com. That should be the first place they come to find a place to eat in our coverage area.”
Davis will help coordinate the efforts of reporters, photographers, editors and contributors to ensure bangordailynews.com provides readers with up-to-the-minute news and the most useful information possible. He also will identify and produce multimedia projects and assist in developing strategies to grow audience through social networking and mobile applications.
In addition to his work at the Kennebec Journal, Davis served as editor-in-chief for The Maine Campus, the newspaper at the University of Maine, also serving as production and design assistant and online editor. He previously worked at CoPress, a start-up company that provided media organizations with the resources needed to maintain a relevant and current website.
Bangordailynews.com attracts 150,000 unique visitors a month. In 2008, it was named the best newspaper website in the region by the New England Newspaper Association.
Maine Today Media is accepting applications for a sales manager for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel in Waterville and an inside sales manager at the Portland Press Herald.
In addition, Maine Press Association Executive Director Mike Lange has announced his retirement effective Dec. 1, 2010, so applications are being accepted for this part-time position as well.
Click on our Classified link for all the information.
Tony Ronzio has been promoted to editor and publisher of the Kennebec Journal and Bill Thompson has been appointed to the same position at the Central Maine Morning Sentinel in Waterville, according to a July 9 announcement by Maine Today Media (MTM) Publisher Richard L. Connor.
Thompson, 63, of Waterville, had been editor of both papers and Ronzio, 30, of Hallowell, was managing editor at the Kennebec Journal.
Ronzio currently serves as 1st Vice-President of the Maine Press Association and chair of the MPA Legislative Committee.
With the new job titles, Thompson and Ronzio will have responsibilities involving all departments of the newspapers, Connor said. They will also have a more visible public presence and “will serve as the papers’ key executives in dealing with readers, customers and the public.”
Connor also said he wanted to have that model in place since purchasing the papers in June 2009 because it allows each paper to function more independently, yet still as a team.
Thompson began working for MaineToday Media in fall 2009. He previously was editor of daily newspapers in Illinois and New Jersey and also was editor of the Fort Worth Business Press, a weekly business journal in Texas. He was a columnist for The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Ronzio was hired as managing editor at the Kennebec Journal in November 2009. Prior to that, he was editorial page editor for the Sun Journal in Lewiston, where he had worked since 2006. The Rhode Island native was also a reporter, assistant editor and bureau chief for Village Soup Times from 2001-2006.
MaineToday Media Inc. has hired a digital media pioneer to help continue the newspaper company’s transformation into a multi-platform information organization.
Tim Archambault, a native Mainer with 13 years of experience in online innovation and technology, is the company’s new vice president of new media and digital operations.
His appointment is one of several personnel changes announced on July 7 by Richard Connor, chief executive officer of MaineToday Media, which publishes The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville, the weekly Coastal Journal in Bath and their affiliated websites.
Connor noted Archambault’s broad experience in online publishing, most recently as director of new media innovation and technology for Herald Communications, a Utah-based subsidiary of Lee Enterprises, which publishes news and advertising in 53 U.S. markets.
Archambault led digital media efforts for one daily newspaper, 10 weekly newspapers, an on-demand television station, a cable television station and associated websites. Before that, he was online manager for the Bangor Daily News from 1997 to 2008, when he led various efforts to develop website content, attract readers and increase advertising revenue.
“Tim has literally been a pioneer in the field of new technology and new media,” Connor said. “Tim will be leading us into uncharted but exciting and promising waters in online and web information delivery.”
Archambault was born in Lewiston, grew up in Brewer and lives in Holden with his family. He graduated from the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1993, followed by a master’s degree in 2001.
At MaineToday Media, he will work closely with the advertising, news and information technology departments to develop products and partnerships that will drive readers, revenue and market opportunities to the company’s various websites, Connor said.
Hari Thummalapalli is the new chief information officer for MaineToday Media. Connor initially hired Thummalapalli six months ago to direct the relocation of all information technology functions for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram when it moved last month from 390 Congress St. to One City Center.
Thummalapalli graduated from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1995 with a master’s degree in aerospace engineering.
He is an educator, entrepreneur and technology specialist who has worked in the automotive, airline, health care, finance and software industries. He is now dividing his time between Maine and his family’s home in Austin, Texas.
Pamela Cassidy has been named the company’s director of promotions. She will work on various marketing and promotion projects and be responsible for maintaining and growing readership in various media platforms.
Sharon Leeman has been named customer care manager, a position held previously by Cassidy. Leeman has more than 20 years of experience in the field, the last four as home delivery manager.
Bill Wardwell has been named home delivery manager. Wardwell comes from The Record in Bergen County, N.J. Before that, he held key supervisory positions in the mailroom and pressroom of The Providence Journal.
Alfredo Corchado, the Mexico bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, is this year’s recipient of Colby College’s Lovejoy Journalism Award.
The Waterville college will present the award on Sept. 26.
Corchado will visit the Colby campus for several days to give a lecture, participate in a panel discussion and meet with students from the college who are interested in journalism.
According to a press release from Colby, Corchado has reported on violence, organized crime and government corruption on the border of the United States and Mexico, as well as the resulting effect on journalism in the area, including a silenced local press and kidnapped reporters.
Born in Durango, Mexico, Corchado was raised in California and Texas and now lives in Mexico City, according to the release. He graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1987 and since has received honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University.
The Lovejoy Award was established in honor of former Colby student Elijah Parish Lovejoy, a publisher in the 1830s who supported abolition and was eventually killed because of his beliefs. Colby started giving out the award in 1952 and its recipients include Halberstam, Pearl and former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham.
Last year, the award was given to Paul Salopek, who was detained in Darfur while reporting in the war-torn African nation.
A selection committee that included editors from some of the nation’s most influential newspapers chose Corchado from a pool of about 20 nominees, according to Sandy Maisel, the director of Colby’s Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement and a member of the selection committee.
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) recently sponsored a very informative seminar in Portland on access to public records. This was much more than a “what does the law say” type of presentation, according to MPA legal counsel Sigmund Schutz. Instead, the focus was on practical techniques to get and use public access to records.
The presenter graciously agreed to share the contents with the MPA.
Unlocking the Power of Public Records 2010
AUGUSTA — The Kennebec Journal wants a judge to order the state to provide documents it received in John Richardson’s effort to get public funding for his gubernatorial run.
MaineToday Media, owner of the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, Morning Sentinel in Waterville and the Portland Press Herald, filed a complaint in Kennebec County Superior Court against the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices after it refused to release records.
The ethics panel says the documents are confidential by statute because they involve intelligence and investigative information, and because they have been referred to the Attorney General’s Office.
The appeal is brought under the state’s Freedom of Access Act and seeks an expedited hearing. No hearing was set as of May 21.
After a one-year hiatus, the Village Soup newspapers have rejoined the Maine Press Association. The group includes the Republican Journal in Belfast, the Capital Weekly in Augusta, the Bar Harbor Times and the Herald-Gazette serving the Camden-Rockland area.
With a strong emphasis on multi-media, Village Soup was honored with a Knight News Challenge award in 2007 when they began using a digital platform in open-source code so that other communities easily could start online news sites.
Richard Anderson is the founder of Village Soup while Ron Belyea serves as president and chief operating officer.
Angie Muhs has been promoted from deputy managing editor to managing editor at the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram; and Joe Grant has been promoted from assistant sports editor to sports editor.
The announcement was made last week by Executive Editor and VP of MaineToday Media Scott Wasser.
Muhs now has oversight for all city desk, business, sports and features reporting as well as photography, page design and copy editing for the print and online edition of the two publications.
She joined The Press Herald/Sunday Telegram in 2005 as assistant managing editor, initially for the copy desk and late for the features and online departments. Prior to her arrival in Maine, she worked at The State in Columbia, S.C.; the Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and the Miami Herald.
Grant was named assistant sports editor last fall after serving on both the sports and news copy desks. His primary responsibility was expanding and enhancing the two papers’ high school sports coverage, which he did well enough to help the sports sections earn a national award in the Associated Press Sports Editors’ annual contest.
Grant joined The Press Herald/Sunday Telegram as a part-timer in 2002 following a pair of full-time stints in Central Maine 1990-96 and 1997-2000.
He also worked in Rockland and Lewiston and gained full-time status in Portland in April 2008.