Our Local Focus
Penobscot Bay Press is a Maine corporation founded in 1964. Based in Stonington, the company is a community information services provider with a total local focus. It has about 20 full- and part-time employees. In the publishing field, the company produces three paid weekly newspapers—Island Ad-Vantages, The Weekly Packet, and Castine Patriot. It also publishes the annual Bay Community Register, the Seasonal Guide/Browser's Trail, and numerous special sections. Penobscot Bay Press has published seven books and co-published several others. Our publications have won numerous state and regional awards in press association contests. We have a community Web site, www.penobscotbaypress.com. We sponsor various community events and forums and contribute to local charities.
Our main office in Stonington is the production and administrative facility. We also operate an office in Blue Hill, the publication's mailing center. Our periodical publications focus on 10 towns on the Maine coast: Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Deer Isle, Isle au Haut, Penobscot, Sedgwick, Stonington, and Surry. The total population of the region served is about 11,000 year-round residents. During the summer tourist and visitor season, that number easily doubles.
The economic mainstays of the region are fishing, centered in Stonington; medical services anchored by Blue Hill Memorial Hospital; and education, represented by Maine Maritime Academy in Castine and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle. Summer tourism and its related seasonal businesses thrive throughout the region. Boat building and maritime services are the historic backbone of the Downeast waterfront.
Island Ad-Vantages traces its history back through weekly newspapers published on Deer Isle since 1882. The Weekly Packet, in Blue Hill, was founded in 1960, and the Castine Patriot in 1980. Nathaniel Barrows purchased the Ad-Vantages in 1968, The Packet in 1981, and the Patriot in 1990. The Ad-Vantages' circulation varies from 2,400 in winter to 3,000 in summer, The Packet from 1,900 to 2,500, and the Patriot from 1,000 to 1,200. The weekly newspapers have near-saturation coverage in their towns and circulate in more than 40 states and several foreign countries. Material from the publications flows to the Web site and provides the basis for some of the books we have published.