October 15, 2019
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Maine newspaper, bought by owner of Press Herald, to close after 135 years

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
The Journal Tribune, a daily newspaper that is part of the Maine Today Media group of newspapers, will cease publication on Oct. 12, ending a 135-year history. The Biddeford newspaper was acquired by Maine Today Media, a Reade Brower company, in April 2018.

A daily Maine newspaper with a 135-year history will close about a year and a half after was acquired by the owner of the Portland Press Herald.

Executive Editor Ed Pierce announced Tuesday that Biddeford’s Journal Tribune will cease publication after its Oct. 12 run.

Masthead Maine CEO Lisa DeSisto in a companywide email said the Biddeford paper had been unable to turn a profit in explaining the decision, according to the Journal Tribune. Other options to keep the paper going, such as converting to an all-digital format, were considered before the decision to shutter the publication was decided on.

“With the challenges that face us across our organizations, and throughout our industry, we need to focus our resources and energies on the properties with the most potential to succeed and endure,” the Journal Tribune quoted DeSisto as saying. “We considered other approaches including digital-only or further reducing days of publication. When we realized the Portland Press Herald has three times the distribution in the Journal Tribune coverage area and the market is already well served by the Mainely Media weekly publications, closure became the best option.”

The move will result in six layoffs.

The Biddeford newspaper began publishing on Jan. 5, 1884, as a four-page broadsheet with six columns that cost 2 cents, according to the Journal Tribune.

Reade Brower, owner of Masthead Maine, acquired the Journal Tribune and The Times Record of Brunswick in a deal that closed April 1, 2018. He has also acquired four other daily newspapers — MaineToday Media’s the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel and Sun Media Group’s Lewiston Sun Journal — as well as 25 weekly publications, including the Ellsworth American and MDI Islander. Brower acquired Bangor-based Maine Seniors magazine in July.

The Bangor Daily News is the only daily newspaper in the state he does not own. Last week, the parent company of the BDN, Bangor Publishing Co., acquired the Penobscot Times, a weekly newspaper, from Sun Media Group, one of several news organizations owned by Brower.



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