The Bangor Daily News was founded on June 18, 1889; it merged with the Bangor Whig and Courier in 1900. Also known as the News or the BDN, the paper is published by Bangor Publishing Company, a local family-owned company.
The BDN is notable in the newspaper business for having an extremely large coverage area. The BDN's print circulation area covers a large portion of mostly rural Maine that is larger than Connecticut and includes eight of Maine's 16 counties, geographically covering 68% of the state, although the population in that area is less than in the remaining 32%. Online, the BDN has readership throughout the state.
The BDN's home office is in Bangor, and the BDN maintains offices in Augusta, Ellsworth, Machias and Belfast. In addition, the BDN has three reporters and two photographers in Portland and a reporter each in Bath, Rockland, Newport, Lincoln and Houlton for a total of 10 bureaus throughout the state.
The BDN is the only news organization that collects election numbers for the entire state. On election night, the BDN calls the clerk of each town to get the unofficial numbers and distributes the results to The Associated Press, where national outlets receive the numbers, and other Maine news outlets.
The BDN publishes online throughout the day, seven days a week, and in print six days a week. In its history, the BDN has only failed to publish once: on December 30, 1962, after an unexpected blizzard buried Bangor under five feet of snow.
The BDN has adopted an aggressive online-first publishing strategy, which has led to it becoming the most-read news source in the state. Numbers from online analytics firm Compete.com show the paper's website gets nearly 300,000 unique visitors per month, making it the largest news site in the state.
The BDN has bureaus in 10 of 16 counties in Maine, and a sharing agreement with the Sun Journal that provides stories from three more counties. In late 2006, cutbacks in the newsroom resulted in early retirements and elimination of some positions. Those who were laid off were reportedly given severance packages. Since then, the BDN has added most of the reporting positions back, though it has cut in other departments. As of August 2011, the BDN employs 70 people in the newsroom, more than any other news outlet in Maine.
Like many newspapers, the BDN has found advertising revenue in the production of special advertising sections. The tabloid-sized sections are inserted into the regular paper and are theme- or advertiser-based. Where many newspapers produce as many as two dozens special sections annually, the BDN produces between 80 and 90 special sections each year, doing so with a staff of three writers and four dedicated sales representatives.
Typical themed special sections include the four-part Perspective series each April, highlighting regional business, and the Experience Maine trio of sections, with Summer, Fall and Winter editions. The BDN also produces annual sections for such entities as the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Administration and the Maine Emergency Management Agency.
The Bangor Daily News prices are: $1.00 Monday-Friday, $2.00 Saturday.