January 03, 2020
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Portland Press Herald owner to stop printing Monday editions for 4 of 5 papers in March

Lori Valigra | BDN
Lori Valigra | BDN
Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram.

This story will be updated.

Masthead Maine will stop printing the Monday editions of four of its five daily newspapers starting March 2.

Part of an effort to save staff jobs, the move reflects larger pressures facing journalism and the newspaper industry.

Starting in March, the Portland Press Herald, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta and the Sun Journal in Lewiston will no longer produce their print editions on Monday. Only the Times Record in Brunswick will not be affected by the move, the company said Friday.

The company will continue to produce seven distinct editions of the four newspapers every week, but it will distribute the Monday edition online only.

The Bangor Daily News, which uses Masthead Maine’s press in Lewiston to print its daily newspaper, will continue to produce a Monday edition.

Declining readership and ads, along with competition from online news, have forced one in five U.S. newspapers, or close to 1,800, out of business since 2004, according to a 2018 University of North Carolina study on the media.

Masthead Maine experienced its own newspaper shutdown in October, when it said ongoing financial losses caused it to close the 135-year-old Journal Tribune in Biddeford.

Since buying the Portland Press Herald, Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal in 2015, Masthead Maine has expanded to own all but one daily newspaper in Maine.

Owner Reade Brower bought those three newspapers from financier Donald Sussman that year. Brower bought the Lewiston Sun Journal and its affiliated papers, such as The Forecaster weekly newspapers, for an undisclosed price in July 2017.

Brower expanded his newspaper group by purchasing the Journal Tribune, The Times Record of Brunswick and the Mainely Media weekly publications from Pennsylvania-based Sample News Group in 2018.

That same year, Brower bought the Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander weekly newspapers.

The Bangor Daily News, privately owned by longtime publisher Richard Warren, is the only independent daily newspaper left in Maine.

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