ELLSWORTH — The notion of “two Maines” could soon have another example to include in the extended definition of the term: southern Maine and the “other Maine,” where residents can’t buy a hard copy of out-of-state newspapers until a day or longer after their publication.
Area grocery and convenience stores that carry the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Boston Globe, USA Today and other out-of-state publications are eyeing March 25, which could be the last day those papers are distributed north of Augusta.
For the past 40 years, Magazines Inc., a Bangor-based distribution company owned by the Foss family, has distributed out-of-state newspapers in central, eastern and northern Maine.
Magazines Inc. has informed its customers that it will cease distribution of out-of-state newspapers after Sunday, March 25.
The owners are negotiating the sale of the business to Hudson RPM of Massachusetts, but as of Wednesday morning, the buyer has declined to continue the newspaper segment of Magazines Inc.
Ralph Foss, president of Magazines Inc., said there is still hope that the distribution service will continue uninterrupted.
“It’s up in the air,” he said, adding that Hudson RPM could decide to take over the distribution or another entity could be found to do it.
“I think somebody’s going to pick it up,” he said. “But I don’t know who and I don’t know when.”