John Porter, the longtime opinion editor for Maine’s largest daily newspaper, the Portland Press Herald, has launched John Porter Public Strategies. Porter left the Press Herald in July after it was acquired by MaineToday Media Inc. There have been a number of Press Herald employees who recently left the paper for PR:

Former editor Jeannine Guttman now serves as Communications Director for Maine Sen. Susan Collins.

Former managing editor Eric Conrad is now director of marketing and communications at Augusta-based MaineGeneral Health.

Former business editor Eric Blom is now vice president of public relations for Yarmouth-based Broadreach Public Relations.

If anything this trend is not surprising. The paper closed all of its bureaus outside Portland in July 2008 in conjunction with the layoffs of 24 employees, and of course continues to face the challenging economic environment for print advertising.