You may have read (in this newspaper) that MaineToday Media, which publishes the Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel, Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram and the Coastal Journal, and operates a printing and distribution facility in South Portland, is being sold to Reade Brower, a Midcoast media executive and entrepreneur.

The closing is scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, June 1. And while the details of our business operations may feel a little “inside baseball,” we wanted to share them with you because we have accomplished many milestones over the past three years and we couldn’t have done it without the support of you — our loyal readers.

This will be the fourth ownership change for the newspapers since the Gannett family sold the company in 1998. And after many rocky years, the paper is once again on solid ground.

The solid foundation on which MTM sits was enabled by the generous investment Donald Sussman made in these newspapers in 2012 when the company was insolvent. Simply put, he saved the newspapers and hundreds of jobs. For the last three years, his investments enabled us to hire more journalists, build marketing and digital development teams and upgrade all of the underlying systems that power the newspapers, enabling us to compete in the new age of news media.

Today we have the largest news-gathering operation of any media company in the state. His investment paid the salaries and wages of the nearly 400 people who work at MaineToday Media.

Donald Sussman is a successful financier and businessman, but his investment in MTM was driven by his deep belief in the critical role quality journalism plays in society. While he was always there when we needed capital to invest in our business or fund operations, he was never involved in any news decision and never stepped foot in our offices.


Under Donald’s ownership, the quality of our newspapers improved dramatically. Hold our newspapers up to any newspaper from a similarly sized market across the country and you’ll see a vast difference in the quality, depth and variety of coverage. The strength of our product is reflected in our circulation figures as we posted year-over-year circulation growth for the first quarter of 2015.

The only way we can truly show our appreciation to Donald is to build on foundation he helped us to lay.

The next chapter for our newspapers, our websites and our employees begins tomorrow, June 1, when Reade Brower becomes the new owner of MTM.

He brings to the table new ideas and tremendous experience in the media, commercial printing and advertising industries, and he shares Donald’s values and sense of civic responsibility. When the pending sale was announced in April, Reade pledged a smooth transition and a commitment to build on what Donald started.

He has made good on that pledge by offering jobs to 98 percent of the current MTM employees at the same wages and the same benefits. We have begun productive conversations with MTM’s three labor unions on how we will work together under Reade’s ownership.

We are proud of the work we did under Donald’s ownership, work that set the company up for long-term viability and made us attractive to an in-state buyer. We have read too many stories about other newspaper sales across the country where jobs were outsourced out of state, staff and wages slashed and ultimately the quality of the journalism suffered.

We thank Donald for getting us here, and we thank Reade for taking us forward. None of this would have been possible without the support of our loyal readers and advertisers and without our talented staff’s passion and commitment to our vital public service mission.

Enjoy your Sunday, and we’ll see you tomorrow.

Lisa DeSisto is the publisher of the Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel, Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram.

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