John Breneman portfolio page

jbMy career in communications dates back to high school when my first article for the York High newspaper, a whimsical piece about wombats, prompted my classmates on the production team to name our paper The Wombat Weekly.


Read my salute to my dad, Ernest Breneman

After securing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy up the road at Colby College, then completing the obligatory cross-country trip with a friend, it was time to get to work. I knew I loved to write but had little clue about what career to pursue. But my dad knew. He nudged me to the newsroom of our hometown York Weekly – opening the door on a deeply fulfilling life in print and electronic journalism.

pease herald cover2

Pease: “Touching down on a very familiar runway”

When my career path led me across the Piscataqua River to the Portsmouth Herald in late 1988, I was almost immediately sent out to Pease Air Force Base to cover the press conference where we learned the shocking news that Pease would close.

My consistently outstanding work in Portsmouth created an opportunity in Cambridge, Mass., as the editor of the Cambridge Chronicle. A few highlights of my time there include meeting the amazing Miss Ruth Jones on her 100th birthday, covering the exploits of Bill Walsh, a city councilor who went on the lam after being indicted for bank fraud, and crafting the award-winning 150th anniversary edition of the Chronicle.


Page One essay: Sept. 11, 2001

I returned to the Portsmouth Herald as Sunday editor in 1998. And when I reflect on the coverage we did in the aftermath of 9/11, I still feel a solemn sense of pride. I was not scheduled to be in the newsroom on Sept. 11, 2001, but when I got there our city editor asked me to write this essay to lead the next day’s front page.

Boston beckoned once more in 2005, when I began a seven-year stint at the Boston Herald. Some of my favorite work from that time involved collaborating with an artist on comic-style pages for our Sunday edition – satirizing such topics as America’s addiction to oil.


Astronaut and fellow York (Maine) High School grad Chris Cassidy.

Almost as soon as I returned to Seacoast Media Group last September, the executive editor offered me the privilege of taking over the Sunday Page Two column. Since then I have enjoyed writing on a wide range of topics — from development issues troubling downtown Portsmouth and the 20th birthday of the Internet to a piece about a kid from my high school who blasted off into outer space as an astronaut.

Along the way my passion for blending humor and humanity led me to launch a personal website called the Humor Gazette (est. 2003) and more recently to start a new project at


I created this logo for the “Portsmouth” category on my personal website. Click on it to see some of the Sunday columns I wrote for the Portsmouth Herald.

I created this page at (also known as to showcase some of my graphic design work. Proficient in Photoshop, InDesign and other programs, I have deep experience integrating high-impact visuals and top-quality editorial for both print and web. I have also performed webmaster duties and am knowledgeable about Word press, web design, html and SEO.

While I pride myself on being a top-notch writer, editor and graphic designer, I know that the ability to effectively and elegantly communicate information also depends upon a deep appreciation for the art of listening.

So thank you for listening. Click here to see my resume. I can be reached at

— John Breneman