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Connor says he remains "significant investor" in Maine media chain

Here's MaineToday Media's statement today on Rich Connor's departure from the company:

Richard L. Connor, CEO of MaineToday Media and the MTM Board of Directors announced today that Connor will step down as the head of the company on December 31, 2011.

MaineToday Media owns the Portland Press Herald, The Kennebec Journal, The Waterville Sentinel, and the weekly Coastal Journal.

Connor said he will be helping the company transition to new leadership over the next two months and then will continue to work on media acquisitions and other media-related projects.

He successfully led the acquisition of the former Blethen Maine Newspapers in June of 2009 after working over a year on the acquisition. He assumed leadership of the company at that time.

"My work on this project began late in December of 2007, and since then, I have led a significant transformation of this company," said Connor. "We just reported the first increase in paid circulation in almost five years. The Portland Press Herald was recognized as the Best Daily Newspaper in Maine by the Maine Press Association two weeks ago. Our websites and online products have been totally revamped, and a digital division was started two months ago. Our website traffic is now the highest in the state. Those achievements indicate the dedicated work of all of the employees of this company, and they have marked a milestone for me. All of our newspapers have become much better content providers, and we are now literally a new media company with an emphasis on online. We centralized printing, moved into new offices at two papers, and repositioned the company. Now the company needs to leverage the new foundation into the next phase. After four years of work with a schedule that has been around the clock, seven days a week, it's time for change for me personally, my family, and for the company. I remain a significant individual investor in the company and I believe in its future."

Board Chairman Peter Brodsky thanked Connor for his service to the company and said the MTM board will immediately begin seeking a replacement.

"We will be recruiting leadership for these properties with strong ties to emerging media technologies that continue to shape the future of this industry. Rich Connor's long experience in the newspaper industry provided a critical start to the reshaping of these newspapers. Future management will build on that foundation. MaineToday Media looks forward to continuing its role as the leading source of news and quality journalism in Maine."

- Scott Nishimura


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