Three free weekly newspapers in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties will no longer be published as their owner, Bangor-based Hometown Newspapers LLC, transitions to an online news format. The news comes nearly a month after Village Net Media shut down its papers and websites in central, midcoast and Down East Maine.
Hometown Newspapers last week published the final issues of the Highlands Journal-Moosehead Times in Greenville, the Citizen Journal in Bangor and the SV Weekly-Somerset Times in Newport, according to the Bangor Daily News. The company last month launched a Lincoln-area weekly called the Penobscot Valley Explorer, which Publisher Robert Pushard said has been well received. The company will also continue publishing its North Country magazine. One person was laid off. The company generally has between seven and nine employees.
Pushard told the paper the company will turn its attention to a new website, and that much of the content will be written by members of the local community. He said the papers could return if the public pushes for them.
Midcoast-based Free Press has bought the VillageSoup assets with plans to revive the publications.