PORTLAND – MaineToday Media, which publishes The Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, announced Wednesday it has hired two journalists who will join the reporting staff this week.

The additions of Randy Billings and Eric Russell bring to six the total number of reporters hired by the newspapers in 2012.

“We expect Eric and Randy will play key roles in our newsroom,” said City Editor Dieter Bradbury. “They bring tremendous experience and records of accomplishment, which will serve readers well as we broaden coverage of our communities.”

Bradbury said the company plans to announce additional reporter hirings in the near future.

Billings, who will cover Portland City Hall, begins his assignment today.

Billings has most recently been the senior writer at Mainebiz, concentrating on in-depth enterprise stories for the statewide business-to-business publication.

Prior to joining Mainebiz, Billings worked at The Forecaster weekly newspapers for nearly six years, covering the cities of Portland and South Portland.

Billings graduated from the University of Maine in Orono with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in philosophy. He grew up in Eddington and has worked as a sternman on his uncle’s lobster boat. He now lives in Gray with his wife, Rachel.

Russell, who will be a general assignment reporter assigned to the City Desk, spent his childhood in southern Maine and graduated from Westbrook High School.

Russell attended the University of Maine in Orono, graduating in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism.

After graduation, Russell spent a year as a freelance sports reporter for several publications, including the Press Herald, before taking a position as a news reporter at the Bangor Daily News in 2004. He spent the next eight years at the Bangor Daily News, working as bureau reporter in Hancock County, city reporter and most recently as State House reporter. Russell and his wife, Stacy, have a daughter.