Carol Coultas, the editor of MaineBiz, writes about the early history of the newspaper as it celebrates its 15th anniversary.
Coultas writes, “With about $1,500 in startup money, Whitney produced his prototype. Although he retained the title of publisher, he also sold the ads and handled circulation, while veteran newswoman Shirley Jacks oversaw the editorial content and a friend with a Mac and some desktop publishing experience did the production work.
â€œ’It was a totally bootstrap operation, but it was always a serious business journal,’ he says.
“Fast forward to 1999. The paper had expanded beyond Portland, it was published every other week and professional staff populated each department. Annual ad revenues approached $400,000.
â€œ’It was like riding on the back of a tiger,’ says Whitney. ‘It was a great product, but there were constant cash flow problems. We were undercapitalized, like most small businesses. I knew we needed a cash infusion to keep growing, and I was tired.'”
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