Following recent allegations that its owner and former publisher sexually harassed a female employee in 2010, the assets of magazine publishing company Maine Media Collective have been sold, the company said Thursday.

“I’m thrilled to tell you that Maine magazine, Maine Home+Design and Old Port magazine have new owners,” said the company’s current publisher and CEO, Andrea King, in an email. “State 23 Media, a newly formed (limited liability company), has acquired all print, event and digital media assets from Maine Media Collective.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

In April, a former employee of the company accused the seller, former publisher Kevin Thomas, of making unwanted sexual advances in 2010, including forced kissing, and exhibiting hostility toward her after those advances were rebuffed. Thomas later issued an apology, and the company lost sponsors and canceled events as a result of the incident.

According to a news release, State 23’s investors include media and business leaders from Maine, New England and other “national markets.”

Adam Japko, founder and CEO of Esteem Media is a lead investor. Based in Carlisle, Massachusetts, Esteem Media produces New England Home, Atlanta Homes and Lifestyle, Design Bloggers Conference and other publications.

Japko will work closely with King, who will continue in her current role as CEO, the release said.

Sandy Spaulding, a longtime Maine business leader, is another key member of the investor group who will “draw on his local experience to help insure the formation and future success of the company,” it said.

In her email, King said the company’s new owners have pledged to create a working environment that is free from sexual harassment.

State 23 has hired KMA Human Resource Consulting “to ensure its policies and procedures are compliant and in alignment with best practices,” and it has hired two compliance experts to conduct an independent review of the company culture and environment so it can make improvements if needed, she said.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: jcraiganderson

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