PORTLAND, Maine — Midcoast businessman Reade Brower may not rehire all employees of MaineToday Media and has set May 22 as the date to make offers of employment or severance under the current union contract, according to a memo obtained by Mainebiz on Wednesday.
“The new owners will be extending offers of employment to the employees they are interested in hiring. There will not be a formal one-on-one interview process. Each offer will include pay rate, benefits, a job description, and will be emailed (or mailed to employees who don’t have a company email address) on May 22nd, 2015,” the internal email from MaineToday CEO Lisa DeSisto read. “If a current employee is not offered a position with the new company, he/she will also be notified and will be entitled to severance payments under the existing contract.”
The newspaper group has about 400 employees and includes the Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram, Kennebec Journal, the Morning Sentinel and the Coastal Journal.
The sale, announced to staff at the newspapers April 28, is expected to close June 1. Brower and Chris Miles, former publisher of The Times Record in Brunswick, formed MTM Acquisition to buy the newspapers in an asset sale, which means they will not take on the collective bargaining agreement with the company’s union employees.
Brower laid out his vision for taking on the company Monday in a story published in the newspapers he plans to acquire. He told the Press Herald his decisions will be guided by what is financially sustainable for the company.
“If there’s something that we’re doing at the newspapers or on the Internet that is not sustainable, then we will look at it,” he told the newspaper. “If what we’re doing is sustainable and makes sense and is built on the backbone of common sense, we’ll continue to do it and we’ll be successful.”
DeSisto said Wednesday the company would share more details as they become available.