The publisher of Maine Magazine and Maine Home + Design has stepped down less than a year after she took over following her predecessor’s resignation amid controversy.

Andrea King left the publications to take a job in Newfoundland, according to Sandy Spaulding, who co-owns the magazines’ parent company, State 23 media.

Orion Poulin, who has been director of business development, will take over as publisher. Spaulding said the editorial team at both magazines will not change.

Andrea King

Spaulding credited King with rebuilding the culture of both magazines in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against her predecessor, Kevin Thomas.

“Where we are today in August 2019 is night and day from where it was this time last year,” Spaulding said Thursday. “We’ve rebuilt most of our relationships and built new ones. We feel good about the momentum we’ve built.”

Thomas, who led the magazines under his company, Maine Media Collective, for nearly a decade, left in May 2018 after a former co-worker, Jessie Lacey, went public with allegations that he harassed her in 2010. Thomas initially disputed her claims but later apologized for “lines that were crossed.” The next month, he sold the magazines to a group of investors, led by Spaulding, who is president of Sea Glass Capital Advisors in Falmouth.

Spaulding said neither he nor any of his partners had any connection to the previous ownership team, but said they still had to mend some fences in the community after the sale.

King – who joined Maine Media Collective as CEO in November 2017, six months before Lacey’s allegations went public – weathered much of the public criticism, which included some advertisers and sponsors pulling support. Spaulding said King rebuilt the trust of staff and also among members of the community.

“We didn’t do a big (public relations) effort,” he said. “We just went out and talked to people.”

 

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