A new online publication with a familiar name is about to start covering Maine.

The New Maine Times, which will be based in Bath, will publish its first edition April 15.

Gina Hamilton, former editor of the Coastal Journal, a weekly newspaper based in Bath, is owner and editor of the New Maine Times, which will also be published weekly.

The publication has filed paperwork to be registered as a nonprofit, which would allow it to apply for grant money it would not otherwise qualify for, Hamilton said.

Hamilton is seeking funding through foundation grants, corporate underwriting and reader contributions — readers may be asked to subscribe online for an annual subscription fee of $35.

“We’ve had a lot of support so far for someone who hasn’t even written a story yet,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton has already assembled her staff, consisting of four reporters, a photographer and a graphic designer.

Editorial offices will be located at her Willow Street home in a converted study. It will be a virtual newsroom with most stories filed remotely. One of her reporters will be based in New York City for the time being.

“I see this as being an online venture for now,” said Hamilton, who had been at the Coastal Journal, now owned by MaineToday Media, since 2005. “The cost of maintaining a print presence is just too much.”

Hamilton said her online newspaper is “sort of the heir” to the Maine Times, an alternative statewide weekly that was co-founded in 1968 by Peter Cox and John Cole.

A Portland Press Herald editorial, published in November 2004, said the former Maine Times “set a standard of journalism that influenced the way news was covered by others in the Maine media for a couple of decades.”

“We hope that wherever John Cole is he will be pleased with what we are doing,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton said there is currently too much emphasis in Maine media on reporting local bake sales and fundraisers.

“We want to look at the state as a whole. The issues we write about could develop into national or international issues,” she said.

Cox sold the former Maine Times, known for coverage of cultural, environmental and political issues, in 1985. It ceased publication in 2002, although it emerged briefly after that as a monthly magazine.

Cole died in 2003, Cox in 2004.

For more information, contact Hamilton at 751-8565 or visit the newspaper’s website at www.newmainetimes.org

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: [email protected]