A number of Maine’s weekly and daily papers have been bought by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.
According to Semafor, Soros and medical device billionaire philanthropist Hansjorg Wyss played a central role in this purchase, giving millions to the National Trust for Local News.
In July, it was announced that the National Trust for Local News bought all five of Masthead Maine’s daily newspapers including the Portland Press Herald and the Sun Journal, along with 17 weekly papers, in partnership with the Maine Journalism Foundation.
A spokesperson for Open Society told Semafor that the foundation was one of National Trust’s financial supporters, but denied funds from the foundation being specified for the purchase.
A spokesperson told the Bangor Daily News that "our grants to date have not included earmarks for specific projects."
"We have supported the National Trust for Local News since 2019, along with many other foundations that value the contribution of long-established and community-rooted newsrooms," the spokesperson said.
The papers, now known under the group name Maine Trust for Local News, does not currently list its supporters, but group CEO Lisa DeSisto said they have a "plan" and "formal protocols" to disclose donations.
According to the Portland Press Herald, National Trust plans to disclose some information about the supporters of the purchase when a local board is formed in September.
Other supporters of the National Trust include the Google News Initiative and the Gates Family Foundation.
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