All posts by executivedirector

MPA To Induct Three into Hall of Fame

Three new members will enter the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame on Oct. 20. Nat Barrows, Kathryn Olmstead and the late Winifred French were selected by the MPA’s Hall of Fame Committee and will be inducted during the association’s annual Fall Conference at the Sunday River Resort in Newry.

Nathaniel “Nat” W. Barrows is celebrating 50 years as owner, publisher and editor of Hancock County’s Penobscot Bay Press newspapers.

He began his Maine career in October 1968 with the purchase of Penobscot Bay Press and Island Ad-Vantages in Stonington. In 1981, he purchased The Weekly Packet, based in Blue Hill, and in 1990 he added the Castine Patriot. His newspapers cover 10 towns on the Blue Hill peninsula, Deer Isle and Isle au Haut.

Barrows has received numerous awards for his news stories, photography and editorials. In 2007, he was honored as Maine Journalist of the Year for his fearless coverage of the discovery, arrest and conviction of a serial pedophile who had elevated standing in the community.

He served two terms as president of the MPA, from1989-91, and was a director of the New England Press Association.

Winifred French started publishing The Quoddy Tides in 1968, when Eastport and the surrounding communities did not have a newspaper. “Lubec and Eastport weren’t covered by the press at that time and, in Eastport, the council had their meeting around a kitchen table,” French recalled on her retirement in January of 1995. “I thought people should know what was going on.”

Although she had no experience in journalism, she did research and spoke with numerous editors and publishers before launching the newspaper. She was the twice-monthly paper’s editor, publisher and distributor, while being helped by a team of staff members and freelance writers that she assembled.

French quickly earned the respect and admiration of her contemporaries. She was named the MPA’s Journalist of the Year in 1979, and was inducted into the New England Newspaper Association’s Hall of Fame in 2002.

Kathryn Olmstead began her affiliation with Maine journalism in the mid-1970s as a correspondent for the Bangor Daily News. In 1977, she went to work for the Aroostook Republican & News in Caribou, first as a reporter, then the editor.

Olmstead served U.S. Sen. William S. Cohen as northern Maine field rep from 1979 to 1984 before joining the journalism faculty at the University of Maine. Her career at UMaine spanned 25 years, including six as associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

In 1988, she co-founded Echoes: Rediscovering Community, a quarterly magazine focused on Aroostook County. She edited, designed and managed Echoes until its final edition in 2017. She also wrote a column about life in Aroostook County for the Bangor Daily News from 2010 to 2017.

In 1993, Olmstead founded the Maine Center for Student Journalism, to foster the practice and teaching of journalism in secondary schools. In 2002, she was honored for that work with a special award from the New England Scholastic Press Association.

The MPA Hall of Fame, established in 1998, honors newspaper people with Maine connections who have made outstanding contributions to the profession. Its members are on the MPA website, at

Tickets to the Hall of Fame luncheon are available by contacting MPA Executive Director Diane Norton at or 691-0131.

Engage, Learn, and Interact at the 2018 MPA Conference

Join members of the Maine Press Association as we gather at Sunday River Resort on October 20 to exchange ideas and celebrate the year’s achievements. A full day of informative and engaging sessions is being planned, including a general session with keynote speaker, Leigh Saufley, Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Here’s an overview of the day’s events:


8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.   | Annual Business Meeting

9:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. | Newsroom Mini Bootcamp | Parts 1 and 2

Three half-hour, jam-packed sessions focused on the needs of reporters but relevant to all who are interested in libel, copy editing or safety inside and outside the newsroom.

  • 9:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.| Libel Workshop: How to stay out of libel trouble. Panelists will bring plenty of examples. Please bring yours. With Sig Schutz, libel czar at Preti Flaherty, Lisa Haberzettl, universal desk editor at MaineToday Media Today, and Matt Kaiser of Portland, who works for Global Sports Advocates and has experience defending the intellectual property rights of athletes.
  • 10:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.| Copy Editing Bootcamp: Get your copy as clean as can be: Get tips from the pros and learn to think like an editor. Bring your questions and examples. With Carol Semple, non-swimming editor at The Portland Press Herald; Mary Delamater, Sun Journal word dominatrix; and Scott Paida, copy editor extraordinaire at The Ellsworth American.

9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. | Revenue Innovations

  • The Ellsworth American’s rate card and rating strategy have been recognized best in New England – for all newspaper categories – for several years. Learn from General Manager Terry Carlisle how the American changed its rating strategy and developed effective ad packages.
  • We’ve all heard the term “sponsored content” in digital, but what about print? Melissa Pritchard, Creative Services Director at MaineToday Media, will describe MTM’s learnings and successful approaches to sponsored content, from concept to sales to execution.

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. | Growing Consumer Revenue

Peter Doucette, former Chief Consumer Revenue Officer for The Boston Globe and current member of FTI Consulting’s Technology, Media & Telecom practice, unlocks the mystery of growing subscription revenue and acquiring and retaining customers. Doucette has spent the last decade studying industry best practices and testing innovative ideas on consumer-centric business models. With advice for newspapers large and small, don’t miss this important session focused on the largest growth area for our industry. Driving engagement to attract new subscribers requires the involvement of all departments in a newspaper. It’s not just a marketing thing. If you’re interested in the future of newspapers, catch this session!

12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. | Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon

Join MPA members and guests as we hear from the 2017 Journalist of the Year, Matthew Stone, of the Bangor Daily News, and induct the 2018 MPA Hall of Fame nominees: R. Nathaniel W. Barrows, in his 50th year as publisher and editor of Penobscot Bay Press; Kathryn Olmstead, a writer, editor, and publisher who has been affiliated with Maine journalism since the late 1970s; and the late Winifred French, founder (and reporter, editor, publisher and distributor) of The Quoddy Ties in 1968 when Eastport had no newspaper.


1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. | Keynote Address: The State of Maine’s Judiciary Branch, Maine Chief Justice Leigh Saufley

Chief Justice Saufley, a graduate of both UMaine and UMaine Law School — is Maine’s first female chief justice, known for her candor, energy , sense of humor and commitment to improving access to justice. Now in her third 8-year term, she has overseen the streamlining of Maine’s business and consumer courts, implemented a mediation program to better resolve residential foreclosures, and her Juvenile Task Force has pushed for laws and programs that have contributed to a substantial decrease in the number of youths being incarcerated. In addition, the buck stops at her desk when it comes to suggested changes to court access and the recording of court procedures by the media. She will share information regarding the Maine Judicial Branch and general matters of justice. She will be available for 45 minutes, including remarks and questions from the audience.

2:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. | Cross-Platform Packaging Workshop

Today’s newspaper journalist is being asked to do multiple jobs effectively. It’s no longer enough to simply provide text – good visuals and video are becoming increasingly important. In this workshop, veteran photojournalist Russ Dillingham (Sun Journal) and University of Maine professor Mike Socolow will go over the basics of creating effective imagery and videos in a timely and efficient manner. Using examples from his career, Dillingham will demonstrate how to frame and structure images so that they report an accurate and engaging narrative, and how your smartphone can be as important as your DSLR and offer more interactive storytelling with your audience. He will also go over the dangers and pitfalls of broadcasting live video as news unfolds.

2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Newsroom Mini Bootcamp | Part 3

Safety in the Field | Keeping it real (safe) on the street and in the building: With William DeLong, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s protective security adviser assigned to Maine and an expert on workplace security in all fields.

5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. | Scholarship Auction & Reception

Join your MPA comrades and guests at this rousing reception and auction, where you can bid on super items like stays in Maine vacation cottages, whale watch tickets, golf passes, restaurant gift certificates, ski lift tickets, and member swag—all to benefit Maine students pursuing careers in the newspaper industry.

6:30 p.m. | 2018 Better Newspaper Contest Awards Dinner & Banquet


Registration Now Open for the MPA Annual Fall Conference on October 20


The Maine Press Association’s Annual Fall Conference will be held this year on October 20 at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel & Conference Center at Sunday River.

A full day of conference events is planned, including informative and interactive sessions, the Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon, annual Scholarship Auction & Reception, and the 2018 Better Newspaper Contest Awards Dinner & Banquet.

Regarding those awards, decisions are flying in as we approach the September 7 judging deadline. Once most decisions are in hand, we’ll review, sort and release to members.

As always, we’ve negotiated super hotel rates for the nights of Oct. 19-20 for MPA members and guests at the Grand Summit Resort. Choose from a Standard Room (2 queen beds) for $109, Studio Deluxe (1 queen murphy, 1 sleep sofa & kitchenette) for $129, or a 1 Bedroom Suite (1 queen bed, 1 sleep sofa & kitchenette) for $129.

To book your room, call the Grand Summit Hotel reservation line at 1-800-207-2365 and reference Maine Press Association and group code 85t3ji. Hotel reservation deadline is October 1. The hotel will try but guarantee group rate & room availability beyond this date.

In the meantime, we’re excited about this year’s lineup of sessions, put together by our Programming Committee using feedback from last year’s conference.

Sessions include:

  • Newsroom Mini Boot Camp, three sessions focused on the needs of reporters but relevant to all who are interested in libel, copy editing or safety inside and outside the newsroom
  • Revenue Innovations, from rate card strategy and structure to sponsored content
  • Growing Consumer Revenue: unlocking the mystery of growing subscription revenue and acquiring and retaining customers
  • Doing It All: Adding Creative Imagery & Compelling Digital Video to Your Newspaper Articles

You can find Conference Registration information and a registration form on the MPA website at (look for the 2018 Fall Conference tab) or by clicking here. Conference registration deadline is Friday, October 5.

Mary D. Brewer, longtime editor of the Boothbay Register, dies at 77


Mary Frances Dodge Brewer, 77, of Murray Hill, East Boothbay, died July 15, 2018.

She was born in Damariscotta, Maine Jan. 19, 1941 to Harry A. Dodge and Ernestine Munro Dodge.

In her preschool years, they made their home in Schenectady, New York, where her father was a pharmacist. He died when she was very young, and she and her mother returned to make their home with her maternal grandparents, John and Laura Gamage Munro, in Round Pond.

In 1951, her mother married Frank S. Dodge of East Boothbay and they moved to his family home on Main Street, just a few doors down from the East Boothbay school which she attended.

After graduation from Boothbay Region High School, she attended the University of Maine in Orono and Katherine Gibbs School in Boston.

During college, she spent summers as an editorial assistant at the Boothbay Register and upon graduation became editor. She remained at the newspaper for 50 years, working under publishers Roy E. Kelley, Dan DeRepentigny, Howard Cowan, Marylouise Cowan and A.R. Tandy, retiring as managing editor.

During her career she won many awards, including being named Maine Press Association Journalist of the Year. She also served on the board of directors and as president of the organization. In 2013 she was inducted into the New England Press Association Hall of Fame.

Locally, she had been active in a number of organizations, including the Fishermen’s Festival and Fishermen’s Memorial Fund, the Chamber of Commerce and many others. The Boothbay Region YMCA honored her with their Character Development Award in 2012, and the Boothbay Harbor Rotary Club presented her with their Lifetime Service Award in 2015.

She purchased her home on Murray Hill on Linekin Bay in 1962 and had lived there ever since. Whenever possible, she enjoyed going fishing with her husband.

Surviving are her husband, Thurlow “Butch” Brewer; a daughter, Sarah Morley and her husband, Andrew Morley; grandchildren, Hannah and Nicholas Morley; a brother, F. Munro Dodge and his wife, Mary D., of Boothbay; and several nieces and nephews.

There will be no funeral services. A celebration of life will be held in August.

Friends who wish may make donations to Rebuilding Together, 203 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538 or the Boothbay Region Student Aid Fund, P.O. Box 293, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538.

Three to be inducted into Maine Press Association Hall of Fame

Three new members will enter the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame in October. Nat Barrows, Kathryn Olmstead and the late Winifred French were selected this month by the MPA’s Hall of Fame Committee. They will be inducted Oct. 20 during the association’s annual Fall Conference at the Sunday River Resort in Newry.

Nathaniel W. Barrows is in his 50th year as owner, publisher and editor of Penobscot Bay Press in Hancock County. He started by purchasing the weekly Island Ad-Vantages in Stonington in 1968, when he was not long out of college. That was followed by his purchases of The Weekly Packet in Blue Hill in 1981 and the Castine Patriot in 1990.

He has received numerous awards for his news stories, photography and editorials. In 2007, he was honored as the MPA’s Journalist of the Year for his fearless coverage of the discovery, arrest and conviction of a serial pedophile who had elevated standing in the community. He was president of the MPA from 1989-91.

Caroline Spear, assistant to the publisher at Penobscot Bay press, wrote in nominating Barrows for the Hall of Fame, “Nat is a man of great character and moral conviction and believes in holding all people to those same standards. For the last five decades he has not only brought those qualities to his reporting, but has insisted that they guide all decision making at Penobscot Bay Press.”

Kathryn Olmstead, a writer, editor, publisher and journalism teacher, has been affiliated with Maine journalism since the late 1970s, when she moved to Caribou to take a job as editor of the Aroostook Republican & News. She later served Sen. William S. Cohen as northern Maine field rep from 1979 to 1984 before taking a position at the University of Maine as journalism instructor and later department chair.

In 1988, she launched Echoes magazine, a journal dedicated to the rural culture of northern Maine. She continued to edit and manage the beloved publication until its final edition in 2017.

In 1993, she founded the Maine Center for Student Journalism, which held contests for student newspapers and an annual conference that brought high school and middle school students to the UMaine campus to meet and work with newspaper professionals. In 2002, she was honored for her work with a special award from the New England Scholastic Press Association. She directed the center until 2004, and retired from UMaine in 2009.

Olmstead served on the MPA Board of Directors from 1996 to 2005.

Winifred French started publishing The Quoddy Tides in 1968, when Eastport had no newspaper. “Lubec and Eastport weren’t covered by the press at that time and, in Eastport, the council had their meeting around a kitchen table,” French recalled on her retirement in January of 1995. “I thought people should know what was going on.”

With no previous experience in journalism, she started a one-woman operation. She was the twice-monthly newspaper’s reporter, editor, publisher and distributor.

Covering the news in eastern Washington County and neighboring Canadian communities, French quickly earned the respect and admiration of her contemporaries. She was named the MPA’s Journalist of the Year in 1979.

Her son, Edward French, became the managing editor in 1986, and succeeded his mother as editor and publisher when she retired for health reasons.

Fifty years after its first issue, Winifred French’s paper carries its mark of distinction on its front page: “Most Easterly Newspaper Published in the United States.”

The MPA Hall of Fame, established in 1998, honors newspaper people with Maine connections who have made outstanding contributions to the profession. Its members are on the MPA website, at

Tickets to the Hall of Fame luncheon are available by contacting MPA Executive Director Diane Norton at or 691-0131.



Bipartisan Group of Ten Senators Introduces “PRINT” Act to Protect Publishers and Printers from Harmful Tariffs

Bill Would Suspend Newsprint Tariffs While Government Studies Effects on U.S. Industries

Arlington, Va. – Today, in an effort to protect printers and publishers from unwarranted tariffs, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced S. 2835, the “Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018,” or “PRINT Act.” Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) joined as original co-sponsors. 

The PRINT Act would suspend new tariffs currently being imposed on imported uncoated groundwood paper from Canada, which is the primary source of newsprint and other paper used by domestic newspapers, book publishers and commercial printers. Simultaneously, the legislation would require the Department of Commerce to review the economic health of the printing and publishing industries. Newspapers and printers across the United States have told Congress that the new import tariffs – as high as 32 percent – would jeopardize the viability of the industry and threaten to decimate the U.S. paper industry’s customer base.

Many local newspapers and printers that use uncoated groundwood paper have experienced price increases and a disruption in supply since preliminary countervailing and antidumping duties were assessed earlier this year. Even as the Commerce Department investigation is ongoing, the duties are already being collected on imports, causing immediate economic harm to printers and publishers. A final Commerce Department decision is expected on August 2.

The new PRINT Act legislation would pause both the preliminary and any final duties while the Department completes its study.

In introducing the legislation, Senator Collins stated, “The U.S. printing and publishing industry is facing an unprecedented threat from crippling new import tariffs imposed on Canadian uncoated groundwood paper — better known as ‘newsprint’ — which is used by newspapers, book publishers, and commercial printers. As a Senator representing one of our nation’s leading papermaking states, I have consistently fought for actions to ensure a level playing field for the domestic papermaking industry.  In this case, however, one domestic mill owned by a venture capital firm appears to be taking advantage of trade remedies to add to its own bottom line, putting thousands of American jobs at risk.  I encourage my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill to fully evaluate the economic impact of these tariffs before they harm our local newspapers and printing industries.”

“Throughout Maine, small town newspapers remain a principal source of information for people looking to read the news, learn about the goings-on in their communities, and stay up-to-date on current events,” Senator King said. “But new tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper could jeopardize this access to information and impact hundreds of thousands of American jobs in the U.S. newspaper business and paper manufacturing industry, which are already operating on razor-thin margins. I have consistently fought for stronger trade enforcement, especially when it involves protecting the domestic paper industry, and must take action to ensure the Department of Commerce hears the serious concerns of the domestic paper manufacturing industry. The PRINT Act would help us better understand the damaging consequences of the DOC’s decision to impose duties and help ensure local newspapers don’t bear an undue burden from these misguided tariffs, so people in Maine and in rural towns across America, can continue to receive their local news from hometown papers.”

Comments on the Introduction of the PRINT Act from Members of the Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers (STOPP) Coalition:

David Chavern, President & CEO, News Media Alliance
“Publishers already face economic headwinds due to the migration of advertising from print to digital. We simply cannot absorb extra costs from import taxes. Newspapers will close or be forced to raise prices for readers and advertisers. We are already seeing some papers cut back on news distribution and cut jobs. These tariffs are killing jobs and high-quality news in local communities. We are grateful that Senator King, Senator Collins and the original co-sponsors of the bill showed leadership and stepped up to protect small publishers in local communities across America.”

Susan Rowell, Publisher, Lancaster (SC) News and President, National Newspaper Association
“Good trade policy increases the job opportunities in America. Applying tariffs like a tax to industries simply to penalize struggling businesses does not enhance jobs. It takes opportunities away. On behalf of community newspapers, we believe the Department of Commerce must fully understand how irretrievable the damage to our publications and our towns would be if trade policy continues to force newsprint costs higher. If you want to silence a free press, take away the newsprint. That is what is happening now, and it is simply wrong. We applaud Senators Collins and King for taking a bold step to protect newspapers.”

Michael Makin, President & CEO, Printing Industries of America
“The printing industry is constantly innovating and reinventing itself to stay competitive in the modern communications marketplace. Taxing our most essential raw material drags down the industry’s job creation, economic growth and future viability. PIA supports free and fair trade, but trade remedy laws are designed to help domestic industries – not to create an exponential number of domestic losers in the process. The PRINT Act is crucial to restoring a much-needed sense of sanity surrounding tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper.”

Alfredo Carbajal, President, American Society of News Editors
“ASNE thanks Senators Susan Collins and Angus King for introducing the PRINT Act. The economic sting of the ongoing proceedings at the Department of Commerce and United States International Trade Commission is being felt by our members, some of whom will be laying off staff as newsprint costs increase. The impact of these layoffs may be permanent, even if the tariffs are reversed. Unfortunately, it is the public who will be impacted the most by these changes. The PRINT Act offers a reasonable solution, which prevents long-term impact on the public and press as the need for government action is assessed.”

Molly Willmott, President, Association of Alternative Newsmedia
“The Association of Alternative Newsmedia is proud to endorse the PRINT Act and thanks Senators Susan Collins and Angus King for introducing this bill. Our members continue to serve their local communities via the distribution of print newspapers on a weekly basis. They are already being affected by increases in printing costs that have resulted from the proceedings initiated before the Department of Commerce. Unless action is taken now, there will be short and long-term effects on our members’ ability to inform their readers. The PRINT Act will help.”

Jim Fetherston, President, Book Manufacturers’ Institute
“Plain and simple, the tariffs and duties on uncoated groundwood paper are having a negative financial impact on American book manufacturers. Rather than protecting American jobs, they are having the opposite effect. Book publishers are moving production to China to avoid this extra cost. The BMI solidly supports the introduction of the PRINT Act.”

Mark J. Nuzzaco, Vice President, Government Affairs, Association for Print Technologies
“The Association for Print Technologies (APTechSM), formerly NPES, joins with its industry colleagues in endorsing the PRINT Act and commends the leadership of its sponsors, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King. Support for free, fair trade along with the use of trade sanctions under U.S. law when necessary and appropriate are bedrock principles for APTech. But in this instance, the already-imposed countervailing and anti-dumping duties are misplaced and are harming a domestic industry rather than shielding it from unfair competition. The PRINT Act will provide a much-needed reprieve from the ongoing damage of these duties while all of the facts of the case are fully assessed.”

The PRINT Act seeks a further examination of the harm that these tariffs will have on our nation’s economy, local jobs and the distribution of news and information in local communities. Specifically, the PRINT Act would:

1) require a study by the DOC of the economic wellbeing, health and vitality of the newsprint industry and the local newspaper publishing industry in the U.S.;
2) require a report from the Commerce Secretary to the President and Congress within 90 days that includes both the findings of the study and any recommendations the Secretary considers appropriate;
3) pause any affirmative determination by the DOC or ITC (U.S. International Trade Commission) until the President certifies that he has received the report and has concluded that such a determination is in the economic interest of the United States; and
4) halt the collection of cash deposits for uncoated groundwood imports currently under investigation at the Commerce Department until the President has made such certifications.

Because of the devastating impact of the tariffs on publishers, printers and other businesses, the bill has received widespread support from Stop Tariffs on Printing & Publishing (STOPP), a broad-based coalition that was formed to fight these crippling tariffs and which represents more than 600,000 workers in the U.S. printing and publishing industries.

The ITC is conducting its final investigation in this case, which includes a public hearing on July 17, 2018. The Commission will reach a final determination in mid-September.

For more information about “Protecting Rational Incentives in Newsprint Trade Act of 2018,” click here.


The STOPP Coalition is a group of associations representing printers, publishers, paper suppliers and distributors that represent mostly small businesses in local communities that employ more than 600,000 workers in the United States. We have joined together to fight proposed government tariffs on newsprint that have been initiated by petitions filed by a single newsprint mill, NORPAC, an outlier in the industry that is owned by a New York hedge fund, with no additional pulp or paper operations in the United States or globally. Information about the STOPP Coalition can be found at

Remembering the many contributions of journalist, MPA stalwart Mike Lange

Reporter for several  Maine newspapers dies of cancer at 74

The Maine Press Association mourns the loss of longtime journalist Mike Lange of St. Albans, who died of cancer at age 74 on April 28 at Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan.
A native of Pennsylvania, Mike moved to Maine in 1972 and established himself as a radio announcer in Somerset County. He later made the jump to newspapers, working as a reporter for the Advertiser-Democrat in Norway, the Somerset Reporter in Skowhegan, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville, and the Moosehead Messenger in Greenville. During his  recent semi-retired years, he wrote part time for the Piscataquis Observer in Dover-Foxcroft and the Eastern Gazette in Dexter.
He served on the Maine Press Association Board of Directors for three terms and was executive director of the organization in 2009-2010.
“Mike Lange was the quintessential Maine journalist,” stated former MPA President Earl Brechlin, who served with Lange on the association’s board of directors for several years. “He’d race from one end of his large coverage territory to the other in a single day, taking notes, snapping photos and pounding out multiple stories on the keyboard before deadline. Whether it was a bean supper, kids’ bike rodeo, selectmen’s meeting, or a breaking major crime story, Mike put his full energy and intellect into covering every aspect of each assignment.”
Former longtime MPA Executive Director Jeff Ham praised Lange’s devotion to the organization.
“I was saddened and surprised to read about Mike’s passing,” Ham wrote in an email. “He was a stalwart with the Maine Press Association. He and I were board members together for years. He left a couple of times because he was too busy at work, but he’d always come back. He just couldn’t stay away.
“When he took over as the association’s executive director in 2009, I figured we were in good hands. When I saw him take charge of the contest and the Fall Conference, I knew we were,” Ham wrote.
Brechlin summarized what many people in Maine are feeling.
“His passing is not just a great loss to his family, friends, and colleagues, but to the region he served as well.”
A memorial service for Lange was held on May 6 at Shorey-Nichols Funeral Home in Pittsfield. To leave a message for the family, please visit Full obituary is here:

Steve Riley, former managing editor of Press Herald, dies at 90

By Dennis Hoey, Portland Press Herald, January 29, 2018

Veteran Maine newspaper editor A. Stephen “Steve” Riley died this month at his home in Meredith, New Hampshire. Riley, whose career at the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram spanned 30 years, was 90 years old. His family said his health had been declining.

Steve Riley

Veteran Maine newspaper editor A. Stephen “Steve” Riley died this month at his home in Meredith, New Hampshire. Riley, whose career at the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram spanned 30 years, was 90 years old. His family said his health had been declining.

Riley, who lived in Cumberland Foreside’s Wildwood neighborhood for more than 50 years, spent nearly all of his adult years working as a journalist, rising up from the reporting ranks to become managing editor of the Press Herald and Sunday Telegram.

In the mid-1980s, he left the Press Herald to become editor of the Central Maine Morning Sentinel in Waterville. He remained there until his retirement in 1990.

Riley was a decorated journalist. In 1989, he was named Maine Journalist of the Year by the Maine Press Association and in 1994 he received the prestigious Yankee Quill Award from the New England Society of Newspaper Editors, or NESNE. The Yankee Quill Award recognizes a lifetime spent achieving excellence in journalism in New England. In addition to those honors, Riley was inducted into the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame in 2005.

“My father always wanted to be a reporter,” said his son, Stephen W. Riley of Vienna, Virginia, a foreign service officer for the U.S. State Department. “He had this innate sense of curiosity.”

“His interest in journalism wasn’t as grandiose as making the world a better place, but more that he liked keeping people informed,” his son explained in a telephone interview Sunday.

After graduating from the University of Maine in 1950, Riley started working for the Brunswick Record and later the Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald, where he covered news in York County.

He then worked briefly for the former Bangor Commercial newspaper before joining the news staff of the Press Herald as its Bangor correspondent.

He spent the rest of his career with the former Guy Gannett newspapers, eventually transferring to Portland, where he became a feature writer for the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Riley remained active in New England journalism and served one year as president of NESNE. In the 1980s, during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Riley participated in an exchange program with Soviet journalists.

He was a member of NESNE delegations that traveled to the U.S.S.R., and NESNE hosted Soviet journalists in New England four times.

“He found that exchange quite rewarding and fascinating,” his son said. “He took great pride because he felt it opened the eyes of Soviet journalists.”

Bill Nemitz, a columnist for the Press Herald and Sunday Telegram, said that if it weren’t for Riley, he may not have wound up writing for the Portland newspapers.

Nemitz recalled he had been working as a reporter for the Morning Sentinel when he interviewed for a job with the Press Herald.

“I didn’t get the job. I was devastated,” Nemitz said.

But two days later, Riley got back to him with an offer Nemitz could not refuse – working as a reporter for the former Evening Express in Portland.

“Steve was an old-school editor, who loved the news,” Nemitz recalled Sunday. “Nothing excited him more than a good news story.”

Nemitz said Riley was more interested in helping other journalists succeed than in his own success. “It was always about the newspaper, not about him,” Nemitz added.

During a November 1990 presentation at a Maine Press Association conference, Riley offered some possible reasons for reader malaise.

“Could it be that we’re putting out papers that please us as editors and reporters but which, in many ways, do not serve the readers’ needs?” Riley said.

“Our product has been jazzed up. Sizzle has been added, but what about substance? I’m talking about news, not features, but real hard news.”

Riley’s son said his father will be remembered as a “tough but fair editor.”

“He always took the straight-down-the-middle approach. He’d tell me that if he had people on both sides of an issue mad at him, then he was doing his job,” his son said.

Riley felt strongly that the best reporting focused on issues that affect people and that stories should have substance.

He tried to mentor young reporters and managed his staff with aplomb.

“He was not a yeller or a screamer,” his son said. “He got his point across, but he did it in a very benevolent way.”

Riley moved to New Hampshire in 2010 to be closer to his daughter, Beth Mattson of Bristol, New Hampshire.

The family held a private service in early January for Riley, who died Jan. 7 at his home in Meredith.


Portland Press Herald, Mount Desert Islander and the York Weekly among MPA winners

BAR HARBOR – The Portland Press Herald, the Mount Desert Islander of Bar Harbor, the York Weekly and the Maine SundayTelegram have been honored by the Maine Press Association for General Excellence in print newspapers.

The Bangor Daily News, The Ellsworth American and Boothbay Register took top honors for digital General Excellence in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest.

The awards were presented Saturday night at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Event Center in Bar Harbor, concluding a day of workshops for journalists, advertising staff and newsroom managers throughout the state.

Lincoln Millstein, Senior Vice President of Hearst Newspapers, was the featured conference speaker and shared his views on the future of newspapers and why ‘digital first’ won’t deliver.

Earlier in the day, the association inducted two new members to its Hall of Fame: Mark Woodward, former executive editor of the Bangor Daily News, and Alan Baker, longtime owner and publisher of The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander.

In the General Excellence competition for print newspapers, the Portland Press Herald was judged the best daily in Maine while the Maine Sunday Telegram was the weekend Newspaper of the Year for the seventh time in eight years.

Lincoln Millstein, Senior Vice President of Hearst Newspapers, was the featured speaker at the Maine Press Association’s 2017 Fall Conference.

The contest judges wrote of the Portland Press Herald, “Strong writing and beautiful photography throughout the paper, and strong coverage of state and local government” while praising the Maine Sunday Telegram for its “Great writing, well organized, elegant design. Important news stories and lifestyle features. This is the total package.”

In the Weekly 1 division, for newspapers with less than 4,000 print circulation, the York Weekly was described as “A paper that has strong content and is easy to read. People in the community should – and want to – read this paper” while the Weekly 2 winner, Mount Desert Islander, was lauded for its “items of interest for regular readers and/or visitors from out of the area with good editorials and very clean writing.”

The Mount Desert Islander has been named Newspaper of the Year 11 times since 2006 – six times in the Weekly 1 division and five years in Weekly 2 (4,000 and over circulation).

The Courier-Gazette won the Freedom of Information first-place award in the weekly category, while the Sun Journal took top honors in the daily/weekend division.

Matthew Stone of the Bangor Daily News was named the Journalist of the Year while Carla McGuire of the Kennebec Journal was the Advertising Person of the Year.

Maia Zewert of the Lincoln County News won the Bob Drake Young Writer’s Award, and Robert Long of the Bangor Daily News was honored by the MPA as the Unsung Hero of the Year.

A complete list of 2017 award winners can be found on the MPA’s website:

Mark Woodward, left, and Alan Baker, this year’s Maine Press Association Hall of Fame inductees.