Reade Brower, who already owns most of Maine’s daily newspapers and many of its weeklies, announced Friday he will add to his holdings with the purchase of The Times Record of Brunswick and the Journal Tribune of Biddeford, as well as the Mainely Media weekly publications.

Brower, who lives in Camden, owns MaineToday Media, which publishes the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville, the Coastal Journal in Bath and the things-to-do website; the Sun Media Group, which publishes the Sun Journal in Lewiston and several weeklies, including the Forecaster newspapers in Greater Portland; as well as four weeklies in the midcoast.

Brower’s company, RFB Enterprises, is acquiring the papers in Brunswick and Biddeford from Sample News Group, which is headquartered in Pennsylvania and publishes papers in six states.

The sale closes April 1, and terms were not disclosed in a Friday morning press release.

The Maine publications of the Sample News Group will become part of Alliance Press, a commercial printer in Brunswick that Brower also owns.

In a statement, Brower said the deal was “based on common sense” and resulted from previous collaborations between the media companies. “We’ve been printing Sample’s Maine properties for years at both Alliance Press and at the MaineToday Media printing facility in South Portland,” he said. “This transaction is a natural extension of the work we have already begun.”


Mainely Media publishes the Biddeford Courier, Scarborough Leader, Kennebunk Post and South Portland Sentry, which are distributed for free to homes across Cumberland and York counties.

“We have greatly enjoyed newspapering in Maine for nearly 20 years,” George Sample, president of Sample News Group, said in a statement. “But in today’s rapidly changing environment, having a larger scale with more resources is necessary for the growth of the papers and our employees. Reade is a true believer and innovator in community journalism and has the focus on the needs of these communities.”

With Friday’s announcement, Brower’s company will own six of Maine seven daily newspapers; the only daily he won’t own is the Bangor Daily News.

In doing so, he is bucking a national trend. Most newspaper owners are large chains and investment groups. Brower purcahsed MaineToday Media in 2015.

In addition to MaineToday Media, RFB Enterprises’ print and online publications and printing services include Sun Media Group (the Sun Journal, Forecaster/Current Newspapers, Franklin Journal, Livermore Falls Advertiser, Penobscot Times, Advertiser-Democrat Norway, Bethel Citizen, Rumford Falls Times, Rangeley Highlander, Maine Women Magazine, My Generation, 95 North), Courier Publications (Courier Gazette (Rockland), Camden Herald, Belfast Republican),, Free Press Rockland, RFB Print Co-Op, Alliance Press and specialty publications including travelMaine, TREB (The Real Estate Books) of Mid-Coast Maine, Portland and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

This story will be updated.

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