Maine newspapers sold at last


The sale of Maine’s largest newspaper group, announced last November, has finally gone to closing. No price was announced, but it’s believed to be a fraction of the more than $200 million that the Blethen family bought them for 11 years ago.

It took quite a while to get the financing lined up, but Maine Today Media, headed by Rich Connor, is now the owner of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, and the Morning Sentinel in Waterville, along with some smaller publications and the website.

According to a story in the Seattle Times, the flagship of Frank Blethen’s newspaper empire, Blethen’s company borrowed about $213 million to buy the Maine newspapers in 1998. No details of the latest sale were made public.

Despite having closed the Maine sale, Seattle Times Co. President and COO Carolyn Kelly sent employees an email saying that while it was good to have finally closed the transaction, “it does not solve the financial challenges we face.”