The Portland Press Herald (and Maine Sunday Telegram; collectively known as The Portland Newspapers) publish daily newspapers in the city of Portland, Maine, in the United States. Serving the state's largest and principal commercial city, as well as much of southern Maine, the Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram form the largest-circulation newsroom in the state.
The Portland Newspapers throughout most of the 20th century were the cornerstone of Guy Gannett Communications's media holdings, which included two other daily newspapers in Maine. In 1998, these newspapers were sold to The Seattle Times Company; ten years later, they were purchased by MaineToday Media.
On June 28, 2016, the series "" and reporters Whit Richardson and Steve Mistler received a Gerald Loeb Award in the "Local" category.
On March 17, 2008, the Press Herald converted from its traditional multi-section format to two sections. A brief editorial highlighted advertising concerns and said the other sections could be found online. The next day, The Seattle Times Company, its owner at the time, announced that it was putting the Press Herald and its other Maine newspaper properties up for sale.
After more than a year on the market, on June 15, 2009, the papers were sold to MaineToday Media, Inc., headed by Maine native Richard L. Connor, publisher of The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, with financing from HM Capital Partners and Citizens Bank. Although MaineToday originally announced a plan to move the paper's offices out of downtown into the South Portland printing plant, it was later reported that the company's headquarters would move to One City Center in downtown Portland.
As part of the sale, Portland Newspaper Guild members took a 10-percent pay cut in exchange for 15-percent ownership in MaineToday Media. More than 30 non-union jobs were eliminated.
Effective June 1, 2015, MaineToday Media was sold to Reade Brower, owner of a number of midcoast Maine newspapers and a printing operation in Brunswick, Maine.
The Portland Newspapers formerly maintained news bureaus in Augusta, Biddeford, Bath, and Washington, DC; all were closed in July 2008, but the Augusta bureau was reopened in early 2012. The papers continue to operate six circulation depots, in Bath, Saco, Sanford, South Portland, Windham and Yarmouth, Maine. The daily Press Herald circulates six days per week in five counties: Cumberland, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc and York. On Sundays, the Maine Sunday Telegram is sold statewide.
MaineToday Media also owns the Central Maine Newspapers, publisher of the Morning Sentinel in Waterville and the Kennebec Journal in Augusta; and Maine Community Publications, which publishes The Coastal Journal, a community newspaper serving the Bath-Brunswick area.
The Press Herald and Sunday Telegram editorial board was once generally viewed to have center-left political views. It endorsed the 2003 Iraq War, but has since criticized the war's execution. In Maine's 2006 campaign for governor, it endorsed John Baldacci, the incumbent Democrat, who was reelected. In the 2004 presidential election, the paper endorsed Democrat John Kerry, who won Maine but lost the national election. In 2008, it endorsed Barack Obama, who won both Maine and the general election.
However, under Richard Connor, the paper moved to the center, causing some in relatively liberal Portland to abandon the paper in favor of the city's free daily newspaper, The Portland Daily Sun, or for the Bangor Daily News, which made inroads into the Portland market. In 2010, it endorsed conservative Republican candidates (Dean Scontras and Jason Levesque) in both of Maine's congressional districts. They were both defeated by the Democratic incumbents, Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud. For Maine's gubernatorial election that same year, it endorsed moderate independent former Democrat Eliot Cutler, a childhood friend of Connor, who came in second with 34% of the vote.
On October 28, 2011, Connor announced his resignation effective December 31, 2011. The newspaper's parent company later accused him of misusing over $500,000 in company funds for personal use, and announced that their insurance company had paid the company $538,000 under the company’s employee theft insurance policy.
Content from the Portland Press Herald appears on its website pressherald.com.
The domain name Portland.com was originally the Web address for the papers, but was sold to a marketing firm and became a visitor's guide for the city of Portland, Oregon, in May 2004.
The Religion and Values section of the Saturday, February 3, 2007, edition of the Press Herald included an ad from the First Baptist Church of South Portland, which listed the sermon as "The Only Way to Destroy the Jewish Race". This caused outrage in Greater Portland's Jewish Community and led to an apology by the minister of that church.
However, less than two weeks later, People's Choice Credit Union ran an ad in the February 14, 2007, edition of the Press Herald that depicted a bearded "Fee Bandit" that resembled a Hasidic Jew, eager to take people's money. This incident prompted investigations by the Anti-Defamation League; Steven Wessler, director of the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence and the person in charge of dealing with hate crimes in the state; and the Jewish Community Alliance. The newspaper's management later apologized for printing the advertisements in question without checking them first, and said it they would scrutinize ad content more closely before printing.
The Press Herald daily price is $1.50. The Sunday Telegram price is $2.00 in southern and coastal Maine and $3.00 elsewhere.