ROCKLAND, Maine — Two longtime newspapers on the midcoast will be combined into one publication serving Knox County.
Citing the economy and demographics of the area, Richard Anderson, 67, chief executive officer of VillageNetMedia and VillageSoup Inc., said he would combine The Courier-Gazette of Rockland and The Camden Herald into one newspaper called The Herald Gazette. The new paper will be published three times a week.
Current Camden Herald editor Lynda Clancy will become editor of the newly combined newspaper, Anderson said.
The merger will result in the loss of eight full-time jobs and one half-time position from the previous two papers, said General Manager Ron Belyea. Three of those jobs will be in the news department and one will be in administration, he added.
The Courier-Gazette was published three times a week, and The Camden Herald once a week.
“Camden Herald readers will now get their local news three times a week,” Belyea said.
The new Herald Gazette office will be located at the Courier-Gazette building at 301 Park St. in Rockland, Anderson said.
“We are moving out of the Breakwater building in Rockland, and we’ll keep our office in Camden,” he added.
Anderson said he debated the idea of the merger four months ago when he bought The Courier-Gazette and The Camden Herald, but decided at the time to keep the two papers separate.
On June 30, Anderson, through NetMedia, completed the purchase of six newspapers in Rockland, Camden, Belfast, Bar Harbor and Augusta from Courier Publications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Crescent Publishing Co. LLC of Greenville, S.C. NetMedia also bought the company’s printing plant in Rockland.
NetMedia will continue to publish The Republican Journal in Belfast, The Bar Harbor Times in Bar Harbor and Capital Weekly in Augusta. The company has no plans to combine these three newspapers, Belyea said.
NetMedia also plans to keep operating its VillageSoup Web sites in Knox, Waldo, Hancock and Kennebec counties. VillageSoup, founded in 1997 by Anderson and his son Derek Anderson, presents the news of the towns the newspaper serves in online editions.