George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and left-wing Swiss Billionaire Hansjörg Wyss have been reported to be silently backing a non-profit that recently acquired nearly two dozen local papers in Maine. The National Trust for Local News, the organization that now controls the largest network of newspapers in Maine, has acknowledged receiving funding from Soros’ organization. However, it denies that the funds were specifically for the purchase of the local papers.
Despite this denial, an undisclosed source with direct knowledge of the acquisition has revealed that Soros and Wyss did provide funds for the National Trust to acquire the papers. The National Trust now possesses five daily papers and 17 weekly publications, making it a major player in the state’s media industry.
Hansjörg Wyss, a Swiss billionaire, is no stranger to supporting progressive causes and organizations. He has poured nearly $500 million into left-wing advocacy groups and is a notable supporter of States Newsroom, a left-leaning network of local news outlets. The States Newsroom is currently expanding its operations in Maine.
George Soros also has a long history of funding media organizations. A report by the Media Research Center (MRC) found that Soros has donated $52 million to media organizations since 2003. Some of these donations, according to the MRC, breach the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethical code regarding conflicts of interest.
The Soros-backed acquisition is significant considering Maine’s political landscape. The state has a history of electing both Democrats and Republicans. Its current representation in the Senate includes Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats. Jared Golden, a Democrat representing Maine’s 2nd congressional district, is seen as a target for national Republicans. Donald Trump won his district in 2016 and 2020 and nearly carried Maine in 2016, losing by less than three points.