PORTLAND, Maine — Four daily Maine newspapers have announced the end of production of its Monday print editions beginning on March 2, according to a report in the Portland Press Herald.
According to the Portland Press Herald, the Lewiston Sun Journal, Morning Sentinel in Waterville and Kennebec Journal in Augusta and the Press Herald each will continue to produce seven distinct editions per week, but their Monday editions only will be available in digital format, according to Lisa DeSisto, CEO of Masthead Maine, which publishes the newspapers.
They said the announcement is a cost-cutting move to preserve newsroom jobs, according to their CEO.
“The savings from digital-only Monday enables us to keep our newsrooms at the size that they are and continue to produce the journalism that’s important to our community. We know that we have a lot of work to do to get a portion of our customers comfortable with this, and we’re committed to that smooth transition,” DeSisto told the Press Herald.
DeSisto told the Press Herald the group expected a "modest loss" of ad revenue, but that the cost savings would make up for that loss. According to the Press Herald, 37% of their revenue came from print advertising in 2019.
There will be no job loss directly related to the announcement, DeSisto told the Press Herald, but the company does expect some reduction in OT for printing press operators.
The Portland Press Herald's executive editor, Cliff Schechtman says he knows some subscribers might not be happy with this decision, but it's what they had to do in order to preserve their newsroom and continue providing the level of journalism they do for their readers.
"Who do would you rely on to make sure the water your child is drinking is safe? How are you going to find out whether your tax dollars are being spent well?" Schechtman said. "If you only rely on Facebook or social media that’s not going to give you the answer... it’s journalists knocking on doors, looking at documents... it's journalist who are doing the hard work, protecting you and telling you what the truth is."
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