DOVER — A veteran media executive who most recently oversaw the media company associated with the Portland Press Herald in Maine has been named the chief executive officer of Foster’s Daily Democrat, the Dover newspaper announced this week.
Richard Connor joined the newspaper Monday, according to a statement issued by Patrice D. Foster, president and publisher of the 140-year-old media company.
“Rich has more than 40 years of media experience working in all types of competitive markets and appreciates the challenges and opportunities of family-owned newspapers. We feel he is uniquely qualified to lead this company during turbulent times,” Foster said.
The Fosters statement said Connor has been an ownership-partner in more than 80 daily and weekly newspapers since 1998. In the 2000s, he formed partnerships to acquire daily newspapers in Pennsylvania and Maine and remains an investor in several newspapers.
In 2009, the Texas venture capital firm HM Capital acquired the Portland-based newspaper company and named Connor to oversee the company.
He rebranded the newspaper company Maine Today Media. It includes both the daily and Sunday newspapers in Portland, daily newspapers in Augusta and Waterville and the MaineToday.com website.
Connor resigned last October, leaving a company out of cash that had to be rescued by the investor Donald Sussman, said Tom Bell, president of the Portland Newspaper Guild.
Bell, whose union represents 200-plus employees, said members agreed to a 10 percent pay cut and two-year wage freeze in order for the Connor-led deal to go through. A lot of union members remain angry over the situation.
“We felt he had squandered a great opportunity,” Bell said.
Connor’s former Pennsylvania newspaper, the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, has sued him in federal court, seeking payments on a $250,000 loan, according to a recent Times Leader report.
And a federal judge has issued a default order against his former Pennsylvania company for failure to pay a $212,000 bill for newsprint, the Bangor Daily News of Maine has reported.
In a statement issued by Foster’s, Connor said he is pleased to join the renowned team serving southern New Hampshire.
“I look forward to hearing from the staff, readers and advertisers about what we can do to continue to make these news products the best they can be,” he said.