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April 4, 2018

Reade Brower to acquire 50% ownership of The Portland Phoenix

Reade Brower, whose company RFB Enterprises just purchased two Maine dailies and a chain of weeklies in southern Maine, is set to acquire half of alt-weekly newspaper The Portland Phoenix.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Maine Today Media, which is owned by Brower, is negotiating with The Phoenix's publisher Mark Guerringue, who is based in New Hampshire, to share ownership of the alternative weekly. Maine Today Media, which publishes the Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram, Kennebec Journal, Waterville Morning Sentinel and Coastal Journal, was acquired by Brower in 2015.

He then acquired the Sun Journal and its group of weekly newspapers in 2017, followed by the acquisitions announced in late March of The Times Record in Brunswick and Journal Tribune in Biddeford and the Mainely Media weekly publications from the Sample News Group.

Those acquisitions give Brower control of a large number of Maine weeklies and leave the Bangor Daily News, owned by its longtime publisher Richard Warren, as the only Maine daily not owned by Brower.

Maine Today Media CEO Lisa DeSisto told the BDN that sales and marketing staff at the Press Herald have been assisting a contractor and a New Hampshire-based employee of Guerringue in handling those roles for the Phoenix.

Maine Today Media also is printing the Phoenix, the BDN reported.

"This is a tough world for all legacy media and this shows an awareness that it's better to work together than to beat each other up," said Guerringue, who publishes three newspapers in New Hampshire.

Read more

Brower launches Masthead Maine network linking his media companies

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