LEWISTON — Nearly six months after Lewiston Auburn Magazine shut down in the wake of its publisher’s arrest on a charge of possessing child pornography, the area will get a new magazine.
Current, a magazine focused on Lewiston-Auburn and the surrounding area, will begin publication in October. Local businessman Peter Flanders will serve as publisher. Ryan Rhoades will be managing editor and Jared Lussier will be design director.
Flanders said the magazine has the support of several of the owners of the former Lewiston Auburn Magazine, but Current Media will be a new publishing company and Current a new magazine.
“I worked closely with a couple of the owners of L-A Magazine, both current and prior owners of L-A Magazine, to help me develop, help me to transition into the community,” Flanders said. “Most of that work is just behind the scenes at this point, but a couple of them have given their time in order to see this community asset rebuilt. It meant a lot to them and they have given a lot of support.”
The former Lewiston Auburn Magazine was last published in mid-February. Its Auburn office closed in March after its publisher and president, Joshua Shea, was arrested and charged with possessing child pornography. Shea was later fired by the magazine’s owners.
On Thursday, Shea appeared in court on the charge for the first time.
Flanders said he decided to start Current after an “inspired conversation” with a friend who encouraged him to consider taking over the old magazine. Flanders, who co-owns a small real estate development company in the area and is operations manager for Lee Auto, spent months looking into the prospect of owning a local magazine.
He saw it, he said, as both a business opportunity and community opportunity.
“I created it because I thought it was the right thing to do,” he said. “I think that the magazine along with other elements within our community are part of what helps our community grow.”
Although the magazine’s layout is still being finalized, designers envision a clear, modern look. Its content is expected to focus on Lewiston-Auburn initially, then other parts of the region. It will have six regular issues next year, plus two special editions.
Although Flanders will contribute, he will not be involved in day-to-day operations.
Sandy Marquis was co-owner of the old Lewiston Auburn Magazine until she sold her share last November. She said she is happy the community will soon have a magazine again.
“The old team is so excited, so thrilled. We don’t have anything officially to do with it, but as a community member I’m thrilled,” she said. “I’m excited that somebody is going to kind of leap forward and kind of bring a nice magazine to Lewiston-Auburn. I’m thrilled the community is going to have this again.”
Current will open its new office Friday at 12 Ash St. in Lewiston, participating in the Art Walk Lewiston Auburn from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Editor’s note: Ryan Rhoades is the son of Sun Journal Executive Editor Rex Rhoades.