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home : • special features : special features September 14, 2014

Quarry Hill - middle banner - sub section

3/22/2012 3:49:00 PM
Rockland, Camden, Belfast Newspapers to Debut April 5
by Christine Parrish

The Rockland Courier-Gazette, the Camden Herald and the Belfast Republican Journal will return to area newsstands on Thursday, April 5, according to Reade Brower. Brower finalized the purchase of the remaining assets of Village Net Media with The First, N.A., on Wednesday, March 21.

Brower, who owns several companies, including The Free Press, said he will honor existing subscriptions to the now-defunct VillageSoup Gazette and VillageSoup Journal by switching subscribers to one of the new newspapers.

Brower plans to retain the Village Soup website, but it will no longer be free.

"The model of free news is unsustainable and beginning April 5, 2012, with the reopening of the site and reintroduction of the papers, it will be necessary to charge a small fee . . . in order for us to bring you a strong news product," said Brower.

The newspapers will cost $1 on newsstands, or $59 a year for print subscription and online access. Readers who prefer just the print or the online access will pay $49 annually.

Some of the 56 former Village Soup employees have been rehired. Rockland staff with the new company will need to move out of 301 Park Street, where Village Soup had been headquartered, by the end of the month, which is when Knox County, which bought the building earlier this year, takes possession of it. Brower said he expects to find a new building within the week.

Free Press, Inc. will remain an unafiliated independent company and will continue publishing its free weekly midcoast newspaper with a free website.

New England Imports
Related Links:
• Reade Brower to Purchase All Remaining Village Net Media Assets
• All Village Soup Operations Shut Down as of March 9 - Update

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, March 26, 2012
Article comment by: D M Clark

I am glad that Reade Brower is stepping up to the plate to keep these mags on going.
And I do realize that a fee is necessary to keep it going.
I would like to point out though, that many people are out of work and coming up with $49 up front may not be possible. I see a lot of people in my area looking for jobs and they do depend these newspapers to help in their search.
I ask that Mr. Brower consider that and provide a way to accommodate them. Perhaps monthyly, quarter, bi annually or something that would work, as opposed to an upfront payment.

Thank you.

Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2012
Article comment by: Crawford Robinson

I think it is wonderful that the local news via both paper and web returns to the area. I think Mr Anderson was a creative genius and that his only mistake was in making the online version payment free. Had he not made that fatal mistake, it would not have been the loss of our news. As far as the format of the news and the reporting... top notch. I'm not sure which reporters are in the rehire pipeline, but to lose Betts and his upfront from the hip reporting would be an injustice to readers. I look forward to being a future subscriber soon and want to thank Mr Brower for stepping up to the plate.

Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2012
Article comment by: Sharon Teel

So happy to see that things are moving along so quickly. As a former employee of both the Courier Gazette and Village Soup, I hope many of my friends have a new place to work. It's nice to know that our community will once again be informed of news and events in our area. Many thanks to Reade for his dedication to our community.

Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2012
Article comment by: j. gundry

Sure do hope the subscription can be paid by Paypal!

Posted: Friday, March 23, 2012
Article comment by: Tammy Davis

I would love to be able to continue to submit photos to the paper, I have done this in the past for village soup, they would post to the online website and/or the paper..Photos were basically outdoor scenery, wildlife, events happening at local school, etc...I have not been compensated and I don't wish to be either..I am strictly amateur but enjoy photography greatly and am very happy to share my photos with others.
Thanks, Tammy

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