Reade Brower, the owner of four of Maine’s seven daily newspapers, announced Friday morning he will purchase two more, the Times Record of Brunswick and the Journal Tribune of Biddeford, as well as the Mainely Media weekly publications.
The publications are owned by George Sample and his Sample News Group of Pennsylvania. Once acquired, the publications will become part of Alliance Press, a commercial printer in Brunswick owned by Brower, whose RFB Enterprises also owns the Portland Press Herald, Lewiston Sun Journal, Kennebec Journal and Waterville Sentinel.
In a statement released as part of the announcement, Sample said, “We have greatly enjoyed newspapering in Maine for nearly 20 years. But in today’s rapidly changing environment, having a larger scale with more resources is necessary for the growth of the papers and our employees. Reade is a true believer and innovator in community journalism and has the focus on the needs of these communities.”
“We are thankful for the efforts of our many great employees who have worked tirelessly to produce good local newspapers,” Sample said. Sample News Group publishes 75 publications across six states.
Brower, of Camden, most recently bought the Sun Media Group in 2017, acquiring the Sun Journal and the Sun Media Groups’ weekly newspapers and magazines. RFB Enterprises also owns other Maine weekly and online newspapers, specialty publications and printing services.
“This is a deal based on common sense,” Brower said in a statement. “I’ve been printing Sample’s Maine properties for years at both Alliance Press and at the MaineToday Media printing facility in South Portland. The Portland Press Herald and Mainely Media recently partnered on a TMC effort in select zips. This transaction is a natural extension of the work we have already begun.”
The transaction is scheduled to close April 1.