The Mitchell family announced Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement to sell Vermont newspapers The Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, as well as affiliated print and online publications, to a company headed by Maine-based publishing entrepreneur Reade Brower and printing and marketing executive Chip Harris.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Mitchell family has owned the Rutland Herald since 1947 and the Times Argus since 1964. That ownership was in partnership with the Noble family until 1986, when the Mitchells bought out the Nobles. The Herald and Times Argus also publish two free weekly newspapers, the Rutland Reader and the Central Vermont Reader, as well as the websites rutlandherald.com, timesargus.com, vermonttoday.com, businessvermont.com, rutlandreader.com and vermontclassifieds.com, and the consumer-focused Go Rutland app.

“We have always held these newspapers in trust for the public. While we've always been a privately held company, we believe they are an asset of the communities they serve and of the state of Vermont,” said John Mitchell, the chairman and president of the Herald Association. “These principles have, in recent years, been challenged by the rapidly changing business environment for newspapers everywhere, and in particular for independent, family-owned newspapers. In Reade we believe we have found a steward for the newspapers who has both the entrepreneurial spirit and record that is crucial, and the community focus and commitment to journalism that has been at the core of our mission for decades. The simple truth is that as a family, we felt that if we were unable to continue that mission, we needed to find someone who could.”

Brower is the principal owner of MaineToday Media, Maine's largest newsgathering organization, with nearly 400 employees. MaineToday publishes the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville and the Coastal Journal in Bath, as well as the pressherald.com, centralmaine.com and mainetoday.com websites. He purchased MaineToday Media in June of 2015. He is also the owner of Alliance Press, a commercial printing company in Brunswick.

Brower, who lives in Camden, also publishes weeklies The Free Press in Rockland, The Courier-Gazette in Rockland, The Camden Herald and The Republican Journal in Belfast. He purchased the four Midcoast weeklies in March of 2012, after the former owner of those newspapers had shut them down.

Harris is a cofounder and formerly was the majority stockholder and president of Upper Valley Press Inc. in North Haverhill, N.H. The 40-year-old company prints newspapers and advertising inserts, and operates a saturation mail company that weekly reaches 250,000 homes in eastern Vermont and central New Hampshire. Prior to starting Upper Valley, he was vice president of client services at Prentiss Court Advertising in Greenville, S.C., a reporter and bureau chief with the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, and a reporter with the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram and Gazette. He resides in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.