By Carol McCracken (Post 1,222)
“I’m 62 years old and I just retired. That’s why I’m selling “The West End News,” said Ed King this afternoon at the Lucid Stage here in Portland. “The asking price is $20,000 and while I’m talking to a few people, no one has made an offer yet,” he said. The official announcement was printed on the first page of the October issue of the paper.
Back in 2001, he published one issue of the “West End Times”, but only one. That was because he was concerned that it was set up to serve as a political tool for Ethan Strimling, King said which he did not want. King, who is an experienced journalist who formerly wrote for “Maine Biz,” next published the first issue of “The West End News’ on St. Patrick’s Day that same year. And it’s been published ever since. “I started the paper “to pay the rent and keep from starving to death. And I’m still eating,” he said laughing heartily.
The newspaper business has changed 1,000% from when King was writing for “Maine Biz” in 1995 because of the Internet. “When I started WEN in 2001 I could get a scoop and hold on to it until the next issue and it would still be fresh news two weeks later. Communications have grown exponentially because of the Internet,” he said. King said he plans on publishing one more issue of the paper under his name – an election issue – that will come out in several weeks. Originally published bi-monthly, for the last several years it has been published monthly.
That’s not the only change on King’s mind these days. King and his long-time partner, Liz McMahon, are moving to Volgograv (formerly Stalingrad) Russia at the end of October. McMahon who just closed Lucid Stage this weekend has signed a one year contract to teach English as a second language for adults at a private school in Volgograv. She starts the end of October. King intends to study Russian at the same school. They have received their passports and are now awaiting their visas – then they and their ten year old dog, Ruby, will be off on a new adventure.
“I never expected to be going to Russia, but this is how it has worked out. I don’t think I’ll be speaking Russian any time soon,” King said laughing.
For more information on the sale of “The West End News,” and to wish them bon voyage, please contact Ed King at 899-7301 or email him at The West End News@gmail.com.