Newsguild.org, the website of the Newspaper Guild/ Communications Workers of America union, is reporting on the backroom dealings between MaineToday Media union heads Tom Bell (reporter) and Greg Kesich (editor) and Chellie Pingree’s billionaire husband Donald Sussman. The article, titled “Guild’s Overture to Investor Saves Maine Newspapers, Union Contract and Members’ Jobs”, details the reaction to Sussman’s cash infusion:
Guild leaders called a general meeting for 5 p.m. Many members worried they were about to hear that the company was filing for bankruptcy.
Instead, the room erupted in laughter, cheers and hugs as members learned their jobs were safe, their contract was secure, and that an infusion of cash would mean new technology and new opportunities.
The article details that Bell and Kesich identified themselves as a “progressive” union in their overtures to Sussman:
“It was the longest of long shots,” Local Vice President Greg Kesich said. “We got a message to him that the paper was in trouble, and that we were a forward-looking, progressive union that was determined to save it.”
Less than two weeks later, an intrigued Sussman met with Kesich and Guild President Tom Bell. Over the next week, the investor’s lawyers quietly brokered a deal with the company board.
So there you have it. The reporters and editors of the MaineToday Media papers are self-identified “progressives” who feel they owe their jobs to Chellie Pingree’s husband.
That should make for some fair coverage of this fall’s elections.