PORTLAND (AP) – Maine’s largest media organization is getting a new chief executive officer.

Robert Bickler, who’s been president and general manager of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram for five years, will become Blethen Maine Newspapers’ new president and chief executive officer effective Thursday.

Bickler succeeds Charles Cochrane, who steps down Wednesday after a 39-year career in newspapers, most of them with Blethen Maine’s parent company, The Seattle Times Co.

The change comes amid efforts to sell the Blethen newspapers in Maine, which also include the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville, The Coastal Journal weekly in Bath, MaineToday.com and several other print and online publications.

Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

AP-ES-12-31-08 0738EST

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