Richard Connor, the former CEO of MaineToday Media, has been named the new CEO of Foster's Daily Democrat in New Hampshire. According to an announcement on its website, Foster's selected Connor because of his longtime experience as a media executive. Patrice Foster, president and publisher, said the company feels Connor "is uniquely qualified to lead this company during turbulent times."
Leading investment group MaineToday Media Inc., Connor bought the former Blethen Maine Newspapers in 2009. During that time, he sold the company's offices in Portland and Augusta and oversaw a series of layoffs and voluntary buyouts. In April 2010, he told Mainebiz that advertising revenues were up 7.5% over the preceding year. In October 2011, he announced he would resign as CEO at the end of the year, saying it was time for a personal change. In February, billionaire private equity fund manager Donald Sussman agreed to become part-owner of the company, investing $3.3 million and paying off more than $7 million in debt to earn a 75% equity stake. MaineToday has not yet named a new permanent CEO. Recently, the company has hired a handful of new reporters.
Connor has also recently been involved in legal disputes. In May, Pennsylvania-based Wilkes-Barre Publishing has filed a civil lawsuit against him, accusing him of failing to repay a $250,000 debt. Connor and other investors bought The Times-Leader, which is owned by Wilkes-Barre, in 2006 for $65 million. The suit alleges Connor received money from the paper for personal use that he did not pay back, though Connor disputes the allegations. In April, he was named a defendant in a bankruptcy proceeding for Brown Publishing Co. Liquidating Trust, which said Connor and his wife owe the company $52,500 for money improperly received. Connor sold the Fort Worth Business Press to Brown Publishing in 2007, and repurchased it in 2010.