Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Free daily planned for Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine will soon be getting a free daily newspaper.

Mark Guerringue, publisher of the free Conway (N.H.) Daily Sun, said the Portland Daily Sun could start circulating late this month or next, according to a report in the Portland Press Herald.

The Sun's editor will be Curtis Robinson, a veteran of free daily newspapers in Vail and Aspen, Colorado. More recently Robinson was a public affairs professional in Washington, D.C.

In addition to Robinson, the paper will have two reporters. It will publish five days a week. The printing will take place in Conway, which is about 50 miles from Portland as the crow flies.

The Portland Daily Sun will join a growing network of free dailies that began in 1989 with the founding of the Conway Daily Sun. The other papers are the Berlin Daily Sun and Laconia Daily Sun.

In Portland, the Daily Sun will go up against the 147-year-old Press Herald and its Maine Sunday Telegram. They're owned by the Blethen family, better known as the majority owners of the Seattle Times. But the Blethens are negotiating to sell the Portland papers to an investor group that includes former defense secretary and Maine senator William Cohen.