American Journal, other weeklies move to new office

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FALMOUTH — The American Journal, Lakes Region Weekly and The Forecaster newspapers have new offices in Portland and South Portland.

Starting Friday, Oct. 12, the advertising sales staff of the papers will be based at the offices of MaineToday Media, 295 Gannett Drive in South Portland.

The news staff is moving to MaineToday Media offices at One City Center in Portland on an interim basis, while permanent space is configured at the Gannett Drive building.

The American Journal and Lakes Region Weekly, previously based in Westbrook, moved to Falmouth in 2015 after they were acquired by Sun Media Group, parent company of The Forecaster. They were consolidated with The Forecaster two years ago.

The Forecaster has been published in Falmouth for 32 years. It was based on Falmouth Foreside, then moved to 8 Fundy Road, off U.S. Route 1, before crossing the street 10 years ago to 5 Fundy Road.

Sun Media Group, which also publishes the daily Sun Journal in Lewiston and several western Maine weeklies, was acquired in August 2017 by Reade Brower, owner of MaineToday Media.

Lisa DeSisto, chief executive officer of MaineToday Media, said the decision to move American Journal, Lakes Region Weekly and The Forecaster to the office space in Portland and South Portland was made after a lease could not be negotiated with the new owner of the 5 Fundy Road building.

“We continue to seek opportunities for expense savings and this one fell into our lap when the landlord declined to renew the lease,” DeSisto said. “Stories happen in town halls, and at school board meetings; these are more important locations for us to spend our time. The same holds for our advertising team, to be on the road meeting with customers who are small business owners.”

Mo Mehlsak, executive editor of The Forecaster, American Journal and Lakes Region Weekly, said the move will not change the way the newspapers cover their communities.

“The Forecaster matured and evolved over more than three decades in Falmouth, but our founders’ desire for a local paper that reflected their concerns and interests will always be part of the paper’s DNA,” Mehlsak said.

“We’re committed to producing Maine’s best local newspapers,” he continued. “At a time when technology allows us to publish from almost anywhere, where we work is less important than how well we do our job. We will continue to inform, challenge, reflect and respect our readers and advertisers throughout Cumberland County.”

One City Center in Portland as of Oct. 12 is the home of the news staff of American Journal, Lakes Region Weekly and The Forecaster newspapers.

Advertising sales representatives for The Forecaster, American Journal and Lakes Region Weekly will be working as of Friday, Oct. 12, at 295 Gannett Drive, South Portland. The building is also the headquarters of MaineToday Media and the Portland Press Herald.