April 27, 2018
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Magazine hiatus leaves subscribers in lurch

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff

GREENVILLE, Maine — Up North, a glossy magazine of northern New England that was published by Kopenton LLC in Greenville, is on hiatus until a buyer can be found for the publication, leaving subscribers in the lurch.

“I’m upset. In a small area like this you don’t think something like this would happen,” Barry Lovell of Monson said Monday.

Lovell said his mother purchased two gift subscriptions on Aug. 9 and her check was cashed on Aug. 14. He said she planned to purchase two of the November-December issues on the newsstand to send to two relatives along with a card notifying them that they would be receiving the magazine.

When the new issue failed to show up on the stands, Lovell said, he went to the Greenville office to find out whether there was a problem. He was told that the magazine was no longer being published — it was on “hiatus.”

Lovell said the person who greeted him at the Greenville office was unable to tell him how long his mother would have to wait for the subscriptions or how his mother could recoup the approximately $50 she spent for them.

Lovell said he intended to call the Maine Attorney General’s Office for help.

Kate Simmons, spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office, said Monday that consumers who have problems with businesses should call the attorney general’s consumer line at 800-436-2131 between 9 a.m. and noon and 1 and 4 p.m. Advocates will be available to help with those concerns, she said.

Until a few months ago, Kopenton LLC published both Up North Magazine and the Moosehead Messenger, a weekly newspaper.

The Messenger is under new outside management. Bob Pushard of Hometown Newspapers confirmed Monday that he has taken over the publication of the newspaper but said he is not involved in the magazine.

Pushard said, however, that he had been authorized to give the following statements on behalf of Up North’s owner, Aggie Purinton, who did not return e-mails sent by the Bangor Daily News for comment.

“Due to the current economic conditions, it’s become necessary to find a new owner for Up North Magazine,” Pushard said. “Up North Magazine is currently on hiatus and all subscribers and advertisers will be notified by mail as the situation progresses. As the situation develops, their intent is to honor those subscriptions.”

Pushard, who also publishes the Somerset Times, Sebasticook Valley Weekly and the Piscataquis Times, said he had no plans to convert the Moosehead Messenger into a free newspaper.

“We have reduced the cover price but we are not planning on incorporating it into any of our other papers,” he said.

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