Advocate Media expands into Maine

MAINE – Advocate Printing and Publishing Company Limited, The Saint Croix Courier parent company, is expanding into the U.S.

Advocate Media USA announced Wednesday, Dec. 2 it has purchased one of the largest magazine groups in the state; Maine Magazine, Maine Home and Design, and all related media assets.

“It was very evident during the pandemic lock downs that the border closures were tough on communities and families here in New Brunswick and in Maine,” said Crystal Murray, president of Advocate Media.

“While a border divides us, we know there exists a very strong connection and reliance on each other. For the Courier family I think those ties are even stronger now,” she added.

“We now have a talented team in Portland, Maine that also sees the value in this new relationship. We now have Advocate Media and Advocate Media USA Inc. They are two different companies but one media family and I think this opens up a whole new world of opportunities.”

The acquisition is the first American-based operation for Advocate, but over the years the company has had several cross-border relationships and international titles, not the least of which is the partnership between the Courier, St. Croix Printing and Publishing, and Calais, Me.

As the economy recovers from COVID-19, she sees many opportunities ahead.

“Maine is very familiar to Atlantic Canadians,” said Murray.

“There is great connection to places where you share a border. During the pandemic we saw how important that connection was in places like St. Stephen and Calais.

“Beyond the geography, I have always believed that the people of the East Coast of Canada and our neighbours in Maine share similar values in the way we work, create, and innovate,” she added.

“We are open for business,” said Fred Fiander, publisher at Advocate Media.

“This is a big day for Advocate Media, an expansion into the U.S. will bring opportunity for brands on both sides of the border.

“I have spent the last couple of weeks with the staff in Portland, and I am excited about their passion and commitment to the magazines they produce. This raises the bar for our Advocate family, and we are up for the challenge,” Fiander added.

Adding the Maine magazine family and establishing Advocate Media USA Inc. is a key portion of the Advocate Media growth strategy.

The company’s operations include Metro Guide Publishing Inc., Atlantic Canada’s largest magazine publisher, which celebrates the traditions, communities, and emerging trends of the region with over 20 titles including Saltscapes, East Coast Living, and Unravel Halifax.

“The Maine titles share our curiosity, passion and love for the East Coast and will fit perfectly into Advocate’s publishing family,” said Sean Murray, president and CEO of Advocate Printing.

“It is with excitement and optimism for growth that Advocate Media enters the Maine market. The past 18 months have been very challenging for advertising supported media,” he said.

“Despite those recent challenges, we are excited by potential synergies and are confident that the titles will flourish in a post-COVID marketplace. We further hope that we can become a pathway to promote Atlantic Canada’s wonderful offerings to the New England marketplace,” Sean added.

“It has been a rough ride for almost every business during the pandemic, but our team has used this time to look at new opportunities,” said Murray.

“I am excited about building a relationship with the people behind these remarkable publications and energized about what we can learn from each other. Some of the most exciting journeys are the ones where you can’t see what is coming around the bend.”

Advocate Media USA Inc. offices will be based in Portland, and the majority of the current 23 employees will become part of the Advocate family.