SEATTLE, June 15, 2009 - The Seattle Times Company announced the sale of its Maine newspapers Monday to MaineToday Media, a consortium led by Rich Connor, a native of Bangor, Maine. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger-and-acquisition firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented The Seattle Times Company in the transaction.
The sale includes the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, and the Morning Sentinel in Waterville. Also included is the local news and information site MaineToday.com, as well as a number of nondaily print publications.
Connor will serve as editor and publisher of all three daily newspapers in the purchase.
"I've known these papers my entire life and understand their considerable value as critical information sources within their communities and throughout the state," Connor said. "Importantly, we have developed a business strategy through which we expect to further strengthen the papers and MaineToday.com for the benefit of our readers and advertisers."
Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen said his family was reluctant to sell the Maine newspapers but needed to focus its attention on its newspapers in Washington. He noted that his great-grandfather Alden Blethen, who founded the Seattle Times in 1896, was a Maine native and his family had a special affinity to Maine.
"Local, independent newspaper ownership best serves communities, and we are pleased Rich Connor was able to put together a group to buy Blethen Maine Newspapers," Blethen said.
Besides the flagship Seattle Times, The Seattle Times Co. owns the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, the Yakima Herald-Republic, the Issaquah Press and other newspapers.
If you have further questions contact Owen Van Essen or Jamie Oldershaw of Dirks, Van Essen & Murray at 505-820-2700.