Chris Crockett
Chris Crockett
Longtime Ellsworth American employee Chris Crockett has been named publisher of the MaineStay Media group, which includes The Free Press.

He is also taking leadership of The Courier-Gazette, The Camden Herald, The Republican Journal and the VillageSoup websites, along with The Ellsworth American, The Mount Desert Islander and two magazines, Maine Women Magazine and Maine Seniors.

Crockett, a 1994 graduate of Ellsworth High School and 1995 graduate of Hancock County Technical Center, joined The Ellsworth American in June of 1995, where he held numerous positions, including graphic designer, information technology manager, advertising development manager, and group operations and development manager.

“This group of coastal weekly newspapers is the very best in the state,” Crockett said. “I’m honored and humbled to lead such a great team of people that work hard each day to deliver local, community journalism to our thousands of readers.”

Crockett lives in Surry. He is a past president of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce and current vice president of the Maine Press Association. After 15 years as The American’s IT manager, he left in 2012 to launch his own computer service and repair business, Rockett Computer, while continuing to work for the newspaper as an independent contractor. He rejoined the staff in 2018 as advertising and development manager. He was promoted to group operations and development manager of the six papers last summer. He became publisher in May.

“The publishing industry has a lot of doom-and-gloom seekers,” said Reade Brower, owner of the papers. “With Chris, you have a can-do, will-do ‘yes’ person who will lead this group by creating a pathway that finds and honors the best in his people.”

He pointed to Crockett’s tech background and advertising experience as key reasons why the new publisher is well-suited to the leadership role.

“As owner, I have pledged to stay out of the way,” Brower said. “I am not in any day-to-day decisions but have authorized an investment in our people and in our infrastructure.”

In all, Brower owns five of Maine’s six daily newspapers and more than 30 weeklies, as well as the state’s only full-service printing and commercial mail facility.

The Free Press, The Courier-Gazette and The Camden Herald share an office on Virginia Avenue in Camden.