Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hello Maine; good bye New York; hello Montana


The beloved Ostrich gets a blood transfusion….

We just learned that The Ostrich has hired a brand new Managing Editor, Rob Montana, who hails from “upstate” New York.  We’re taking the liberty of printing his self-introduction that appeared on the op-ed page of the Friday, May 16 edition, complete and unedited.  We’re hoping his editing skills and attention to detail improve quickly as he adapts to our ‘culture.’

A brief introduction

2014-05-16 / Commentary

Rob Montana


I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself — I’m Rob Montana, new managing editor of The Times Record. I’ve come to Brunswick from upstate New York, but please don’t hold that against me.

I’m very happy to be here, getting to know the community better and settling into the way life should be. I am excited to be undertaking this role at a newspaper with its eye on the local region, as that philosophy has been the undercurrent in my previous newspaper experiences. I been on the job just two weeks now, but I am pleased to have found a newsroom staff here that is dedicated in their work and committed to providing the local coverage a community needs from its newspaper. In the other places I’ve worked, the staffs have worked hard to cover the communities well, to dig out the truth and shine a light on the heroes of the local towns. The people I get to work with everyday at the Times Record are the right people to do that job here and I’m glad I get to be a part of that team.

I know what communityfocused newspapers can do, especially when the focus is on basics of reporting. Much emphasis has been placed in recent years on digital platforms and social media integration. That’s all well and good — if you have the resources to do so. But when the choice is between crafting a Facebook post and spending an extra five minutes to polish a story, it shouldn’t be too hard a decision.

It’s true that technology can be a great resource, not only for spreading the news but for gathering it as well, but I think not enough emphasis has been placed on personal connections. That is what makes stories great and earns the trust of those we are reporting on, and I still believe those connections are best made with a handshake and a smile.

That may sound smalltownish, but I keep finding myself in situations where that theory has been proven time and time again.

It is the newspaper’s job to be engaged with its community — in person, not through social media — and inform its readership about the important issues and work taking place locally. It is at the local level that the greatest change can be made, as state and federal government spin their wheels and bicker about politics. It’s important for reporters to be aware of what’s going on around them. Interesting stories are all around us — it just takes open eyes and minds to see them.

It’s important for us to keep a watchful eye on what our town and school officials are doing, to make sure the people — and their tax dollars — are being represented well and appropriately. It’s equally as important for us to write about the many good things happening around us — volunteers offering their time, community initiatives, programs that help those who need it, the achievements of area youth, events that are taking place and people with an interesting story to tell. That is what we aim for at The Times Record.

To do that, we need your help. We need to know what you think is important, what issues are on your mind, what achievements, projects and activities you want us to know about. I want to know what our readers want to see, because if we don’t know, we can’t work toward giving you what you want.

There are many ways to do that — a list of them is available at Contact_ Us.html — but I invite the public to contact me personally with questions, concerns or ideas. I can be reached via email at and by phone at (207) 504- 8209.

ROB MONTANA is the managing editor at The Times Record.

It’s safe to say, we suppose, that Rob is something of an unknown quantity in these parts, as compared to the Claire Bastiens, Rob Longs, Jim McCarthys, Bob Mentzingers and others who came before him, and established the NOTWIUNS stellar record for objectivity, investigative reporting, and devoted watchdogging of something, we’re sure.   You can read his own summary of his experience here:

Our initial reaction is, we should say, unformed.

However, we can only wonder how high the steam pressure has risen in Gina Hamilton’s tea pot.  Her devotion to the shrill offerings of Doug Rooks, Paul Krugman, not to mention her own offerings, have continued the inbred hard left tilt of the paper, limiting it’s appeal to the point of continuing its demise.

We’ll see how long it takes for the real Rob to show his cards.  Things are clouded by the fact that the ownership of the paper seems highly obscured, and we’re not really sure who the true editorial influence behind the printed pages is at this point.  That tops the list of our many questions about this transition in leadership.  They seem to be coming at a furious pace in the last few years.

In closing, we wish Rob well in his new job, and we hope to chat with him soon to give him a glimpse of The Other Side of town.


Along with a bit of advice that derives from years of keeping our head out of the sand.

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