Bangor Daily News Prepares to Sell its Building
by Al Diamon
From newsroom to hotel room? In the near future, don’t be surprised to see a “For Sale” sign in front of 491 Main St. in Bangor. The Bangor Daily News is preparing to sell off its landmark headquarters, probably to a developer interested in building a hotel catering to crowds attending events at the new Bangor auditorium, which is scheduled to open next door in 2013, and the expanded Hollywood Casino located across the street.
In an e-mail, BDN vice president Todd Benoit confirmed rumors the property would soon be on the market. Benoit said the decision to sell was based on the building’s rising value because of its proximity to the two major attractions. He said the company has not yet identified locations for new offices, but will be doing so “in the coming months.”
Benoit did not respond to a question about whether a prominent developer has already made an offer for the building and has plans for a hotel on the site. But he did address the issue of whether the Bangor paper itself is being prepped by its owners, the Warren family, for a sale. He wrote that any real estate deal was a separate matter, and “in no way should it suggest that the BDN will soon be sold.”
Faking out the editor: A journalism scandal that broke this week in Massachusetts has a Maine connection.
On Dec. 5, the Cape Cod Times announced in a story headlined “An Apology to Times Readers,” written by publisher Peter Meyer, that Karen Jeffrey, a longtime reporter for the paper, “wrote dozens of stories that included one or more sources who do not exist.”
Meyer said an extensive investigation revealed the articles containing phony interviews dated back to at least 1998.
According to the paper’s Wikipedia page, during much of that period when Jeffrey was faking parts of her work, the editor of the Times was Cliff Schechtman, who held the post from 1995 to 2005.
Schechtman is now the executive editor of the MaineToday Media papers (Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel).
Here’s hoping he’s learned to pay closer attention.
Unconstitutional: Speaking of which, editors at MaineToday could start by taking a closer look at a Dec. 4 story by Kennebec Journal staff writer Michael Shepherd that referred to Maine’s four constitutional officers.
As Shepherd and his bosses ought to know, the state has only three such positions: attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer. The fourth position Shepherd mentions, the state auditor, is not a constitutional office, although it is filled in the same manner as one.
Changing teams: There’s been another defection from the news team at WVII-TV in Bangor. This time, though, it didn’t happen in a dramatic on-air fashion, as when the station’s primary anchors quit during a live broadcast last month.
Sports director Brian Sullivan is resigning to join Fandom Sports, a local company that provides coverage of high school games to radio stations and cable TV. According to the Bangor Daily News coverage, the parting was amiable, with Sullivan saying he made the switch for more money and better hours.
Al Diamon can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.