MPA welcomes back Courier papers

Three of Maine’s oldest and best known weekly newspapers have rejoined the Maine Press Association, under new ownership.

The Courier-Gazette in Rockland, The Camden Herald and The Republican Journal in Belfast joined at the start of the new year. The papers have been owned since March by Reade Brower, who bought them after their previous owner shut down early last year.

The Republican Journal was founded in 1829, The Courier-Gazette started in 1846 and The Camden Herald opened in 1869. Village NetMedia bought the newspapers from Courier Publications in 2008. It closed the papers when it ceased operations in March of last year.

Before the shutdown, the Rockland and Camden papers operated as the VillageSoup Gazette and the Belfast paper was the VillageSoup Journal. Both dropped out of the MPA before they closed. Brower restored the old titles, and now has made them MPA members again.

The Republican Journal won Newspaper of the Year awards from the MPA in 1997 and 2005. The Camden Herald won those honors in 2001 and 2002.