Andrea Nemitz named MPA executive director

   The Maine Press Association has appointed Andrea Nemitz of Buxton as executive director, succeeding Mike Lange of St. Albans who announced his retirement earlier this year. Nemitz will take over officially on Nov. 1 and Lange will be assisting her during the transition period.
   Nemitz is managing editor of four weekly newspapers at Mainely Media LLC, based in Biddeford. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1975 and was a reporter and editor at newspapers in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.
   She has been a journalist in Maine since 1983, when she joined the Sunday Sun Journal’s first staff as news editor. She also worked at the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram from 1986 to 2008 as business editor, features editor, assistant managing editor for photo and graphics and online day editor. She lives in Buxton and is married to Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram columnist Bill Nemitz.

BDN, Ellsworth American, Islander and Telegram win top honors

 Meg Haskell of BDN named Journalist of the Year

 NORTHPORT – More than 200 people gathered at Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center for theMaine Press Association Fall Conference and awards banquet on Oct. 16 where Meg Haskell of the Bangor Daily News was honored as Journalist of the year. The Ellsworth American, Mount Desert Islander, Bangor Daily News and Sunday Telegram were honored as Newspapers of the Year in their circulation categories.
  Matthew Stone of the Kennebec Journal won the Bob Drake Young Writer’s Award, Cyndy Bell of Current Publishing was honored as Advertising Person of the Year, Mike Theriault of the Sun Journal was recognized as the Circulation Person of the Year.
   The Freedom of Information Award in the Weekly Combined division went to the York County Coast Starfor their series “Managers, police hold top salaries” while the Daily/Weekend award went to the Sun Journal for “911 where are you?”
   Mike Dowd, editor in chief of the BDN, presented the award to Haskell noting that she has “distinguished herself with consistenly compelling, accurate reporting, augmented not only with a smooth, acessible writing style, but with the kind of compassion and sensitivity for people she writes about that comes from being a nurse”
   Haskell spend more than a decade working as a registered nurse before joining the BDN in 2002. She was recently promoted to health editor at the newspaper and is also organizing and helping maintain the paper’s new health and fitness web page.
   In recognizing the BDN as top daily paper, judge Larry Benjamin – a retired editor for the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press – wrote that it “distinguishes itself by its commitment to local new throughout all sections. The local and state-themed editorials, letters and commentary are very impressive. The writing and photos complement a perfect package.”
   Benjamin said that the Maine Sunday Telegram “presents the best weekend package with a healthy local presence in all news sections, mixed with a strong world and national mix. The reader gets a real feel for the state, its people and its issues.”
   Jeff Potter, editor of The Commons in Brattleboro, Vt. judged both the Weekly 1 and Weekly 2 General Excellence categories. 
  He described the Mount Desert Islander as “a publication that clearly is produced by people who love newspapers and work hard to produce one that is good at all levels. The news writing is clear and interesting for a reader who has no ties to the area to understand.  Well-written, nuanced stories, beautiful photography, a clear layout with contemporary typography — all that combine to give someone from afar a sense of place.”
  The Ellsworth American “features beautiful color photography that very deftly conveys a sense of place, one of the most important functions of a community newspaper. Its standalone editorial section provides a welcome insight on the area with clearly labeled commentaries, well-written editorials, a vibrant letters column, and a look through the newspaper’s archives.
   The paper looks like it has the proper formula to hit the reader’s head, heart, and gut, to be engaging and relevant in their lives,” Potter wrote.
   For a complete listing, click on the 2010 Contest Winners link.

Press Herald/Telegram wins seven NEAPNEA awards

   The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram has won seven awards in the 2010 New England Associated Press News Executives Association contest.
   Newspapers from across New England competed in the annual contest in circulation-based categories.
   The Portland newspapers were in Class 1 – for newspapers whose circulation exceeds 40,000. The contest covered the year from April 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010.
   “I’m obviously thrilled for the people who won awards, but I’m also delighted for their editors and colleagues,” said Scott Wasser, the papers’ executive editor. “The editors create an environment where creative and award-winning work such as this can be produced, and their co-workers create a collaborative atmosphere that nurtures this kind of work.”
   Here are the awards won by the Press Herald/Telegram:
   • Second place for best overall website.
   • First place for best feature photo: John Ewing.
   • First place design award for best informational graphic: Michael Fisher.
   • Third place design award for best informational graphic: Jeff Woodbury.
   • Third place for best sports page: Sally Tyrrell.
   • Second place for best arts and entertainment writing: Bob Keyes. (Click the link above to read the story, “Jamie Wyeth stands alone.”)
   • First place for best headline: Brian Robitaille.
   The association will soon name winners in additional categories. The awards will be presented Sept. 10 at the association’s fall conference at the Radisson Hotel & Suites, Chelmsford, Mass.

BDN staffers recognized by New England Associated Press

BANGOR – The Bangor Daily News earned top honors in four categories in the New England Associated Press News Executives Association contest, according to Editor-in-Chief Michael J. Dowd. The awards will be presented Sept. 10 at NEAPNEA’s fall conference at the Radisson Hotel & Suites in Chelmsford, Mass.
   Honored with first-place selections were BDN photographers Kevin Bennett and Gabor Degre, sportswriters Ernie Clark and Andrew Neff, and former Lifestyle reporter Jessica Bloch.
   Bennett took first place in the General News photography category for his memorable shot of a homeless woman in Bangor sitting on a log in a wooded area of the city. Degre won in the Portrait or Profile photo category for his image of an 88-year-old Brewer man flying a model airplane he built.
   Clark and Neff won in the Sports Feature writing category for their combined coverage of the 50th anniversary of the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers playing an NFL exhibition game in Bangor in 1959.
   Bloch won in the Arts and Entertainment writing category for her feature on artist Phil Schirmer of Blue Hill, a longtime proponent of the rarely used painting medium of egg tempera.
   The Bangor Daily News also took one second-place award and five third-place honors.
   Taking second in the Photo Story category was BDN photographer Bridget Brown, honored for her images of whales off the coast of Maine.
   Third-place awards went to reporter Emily Burnham in the Business and Consumer News writing category for her two-part series looking at the revival of downtown Bangor; reporters Abigail Curtis, Bill Trotter and Judy Harrison in the Continuing Coverage writing category for their coverage of a shooting involving lobstermen on Matinicus Island; Ernie Clark for his Sports Feature on Carlos Baeza, manager of the Camden Hills Regional High School boys basketball team; and graphics director Eric Zelz and page designer Becky Bowden in the Page 1 Design category for their work with text and images detailing an old plane wreck on a mountain in Baxter State Park.
   The Bangor Daily News website was named third-best in New England, behind first-place winner The Cape Cod Times and second-place honoree The Portland Press Herald.

Fenceviewer.com earns top NNA honor

   The National Newspaper Association has named www.fenceviewer.com, The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander website, the best community newspaper website in the country.
   The occasion was the association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest. The www.fenceviewer.com site was up against websites created by small daily as well as weekly newspapers all over the nation.
   In awarding www.fenceviewer.com first place, the judge wrote: “This paper took the bold step of creating a portal, rather than just a website echoing the name and content of the paper. [The site] fenceviewer.com will take some time to get used to and to brand, but it is a friendly, attractive and very local site that has a lot going for it. You get a sense of depth and professionalism from the design and content. I liked the strong main image rotator with a more dynamic photo shape. The design is clean, has a strong color palette and is easy to use. News can be delivered on a town level, which is the best strategy for a local publishing company.”
   “We are proud and grateful,” said Alan Baker, publisher of The American and Islander. “Our business model is talented people doing their best work. That’s paying off.”
   Chris Crockett, information technology manager for The American and its sister paper, the Mount Desert Islander, said “We are pleased and excited to be recognized nationally as the best community website in the country and look forward to continuing to provide a great website for our county.”

Current looking for New Media Manager

Current Publishing, a Westbrook-based publishers of six weekly community newspapers, is seeking a wildly-talented superstar to fill the new position of New Media Manager.  Reporting to the publisher, the individual who lands this awesome job will have bottom-line responsibility for all non-weekly products. These currently include the company website, four niche publications, plus kiosk video advertising. Click on our Classifieds link for more details.

Clark, DeLong and Levesque to join Maine Press Association Hall of Fame

   Three veteran journalists have been selected to join the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame.  The late columnist Bill Clark, the late photographer Bob DeLong and retired publisher Don Levesque will be inducted at ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, October 16, at Point Lookout in Northport as part of the MPA’s annual fall conference.
   The Hall of Fame was established in 1998 to honor newspaper people with Maine connections who made outstanding contributions to the profession. The 2010 induction will bring the total number of Hall of Fame members to 52.
   Bill Clark
   In the fall of 1957, the first of Bill Clark’s “Logrolling” columns, later called “Some Logrolling,” began appearing in the Portland Press Herald. It was intended to be no more than an informed, folksy series on woodland management for the newspaper’s “Living in Maine” page.
The column quickly developed in style, broadened content and reader popularity. In it, Clark followed the mold of Maine’s 18th century satirist Seba Smith by introducing the inhabitants of a fictional Maine town known as Cedar River to carry on his own pointed discussion of current events. The column became a fixture for three decades on the editorial pages of the Portland Press Herald, Central Maine Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal. Clark also was the author of seven books.
“He was thoughtful, funny, wise and occasionally (but not too often) sentimental in detailing the foibles of his fellow Mainers and himself,” wrote Al Diamon, one of his nominators. 
In a recent Kennebec Journal column, George Smith recalled Clark’s “reverence for the land” by quoting an excerpt from one of Clark’s columns. “On all the old lands,” wrote Clark, “there are lessons. They are the marks men made, the intimacies of an era. They should not be lost.”  Smith concluded, “Neither should this priceless collection of wisdom or the memory of the man who provided it.”
“Some Logrolling” ran until Clark’s death in 1988, at the age of 74.
  Bob DeLong
  Bob DeLong worked at the Bangor Daily News for 34 years, the last 22 as a staff photographer. He began his career with the News in 1968 as a typographer in the composing room, and then worked as a freelance photographer for United Press International in the 1970s. He moved into the photography department at the Bangor Daily News in 1980.
   “He was always ready to tackle any story, any challenge,” wrote Bangor Daily News Photo Editor Scott Haskell. “Bob was interested in the people he met and photographed. He was a fountain of knowledge about Maine’s people and towns,” recalled Haskell, “and the issues that affected them.”
   “Bob DeLong was the epitome of the professional news photographer,” said Mark Woodward, then-executive editor of the Bangor Daily News, in the newspaper’s story about DeLong’s death in the summer of 2008. “You could count on Bob to follow through on any assignment, and no matter how routine or challenging the shoot, he would bring back much more than you anticipated.”
   In 2002, in the newspaper’s “Pictures of the Year” section, DeLong looked back on his career.
   “Over the years,” he wrote, “the pages of the Bangor Daily News have given me the opportunity, through my photos, to tell stories, show happiness, sadness, accomplishment, failure, relief, despair and, I hope, to show readers something they might not have had time to see themselves.”
   DeLong died in July of 2008.
   Don Levesque
   Don Levesque retired earlier this year after spending 25 years with the St. John Valley Times, holding almost every position at the Madawaska weekly before becoming its publisher in 1996.
   “As publisher, Don advocated for the Valley as a unique cultural asset to the state and the world,” wrote St. John Valley Times Managing Editor Elizabeth Duprey.  “His work in promoting Franco-American and Acadian culture will always be remembered, as will his commitment to the truth and to serving his community.”
   In May of 1996, upon being named publisher, Levesque told readers that his new appointment at the St. John Valley Times, “…is probably one of the biggest honors of my life, the greatest challenge of my life and the fruitful continuation of a love affair with the St. John Valley.”
   “Through his thoughtful and creative writing, his dogged insistence on preserving the Acadian language and heritage of the region, his hard work, and his delightful wit, Don made this local newspaper the true voice of this wonderful region, embraced and loved by all,” wrote University of Maine at Fort Kent President Richard Cost.
   “He has a strong mind and a soft heart,” said Duprey, “making him the perfect publisher for a community newspaper like ours.”

Obama visit boosts MDI Islander circulation

President Barack Obama’s visit to Bar Harbor not only helped spotlight this tourist community around the world, it also was very good for the newspaper business.
The Mount Desert Islander’s issue profiling the First Family’s visit flew off the newsstands, racking up nearly 1,200 more single copy sales than the same week a year earlier.
In the week before the visit, Islander editor Earl Brechlin consulted with Julia Lewis of the Vineyard Gazette on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts to get an idea of what to expect when a sitting president comes to town. The Obamas spent a month on the Vineyard last August. The last president to visit Bar Harbor was William Howard Taft in 1910.
Circulation manager Deborah Tucker also talked with folks at the Gazette. The press run was upped by 1,000 and all island news dealers received an automatic extra draw for the week. Ms. Tucker, general manager Terry Carlisle and the Islander’s editorial staff and ad reps all helped restock stores over the weekend as the calls came in requesting extra papers.
“They are selling like hotcakes,” said one store owner in Northeast Harbor last Saturday.
In downtown Bar Harbor, one outlet that normally sells between 80 and 100 papers a week in July, sold just under 300.
According to Ms. Tucker, returns for the week were very light.
The advertising department also was able to sell some “welcome” ads in advance of the visit and many advertisers scrambled for space in the post-visit edition.
Based on the experiences at the Gazette, the Islander also substantially increased its pressrun and distribution for the post-visit paper but not by as large an amount. “We won’t know the actual numbers for another week,” said Ms. Tucker, “but sales today (Friday) are very brisk.”
The editorial staff of four reporters and two editors produced a package of eight stories crafted from more than 20 exclusive interviews, with photos, a photo spread page, as well as editorial cartoon and an editorial. That is in addition to daily Obama web updates and photos and all the regular news that make a typical peak summer issue.
“There is no question that having the president and his family above the fold is a huge draw,” said Mr. Brechlin.
Click here for a PDF version of the MDI front-page story on the Obama visit.

Davis named BDN online editor

   William P. Davis of Veazie has been named online editor of the Bangor Daily News, and has begun his duties overseeing news content on bangordailynews.com, the paper’s website.
   Davis brings highly developed digital media skills and a love for journalism to the position. He replaces Eryk Salvaggio, who recently left the BDN to teach in Japan.
   “We need to make the site a lot smarter and really become a central access point for readers,” said Davis, who came to the BDN from the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, where he worked as a copy editor and helped oversee its website. “If there’s something about Maine they want to know — even if it’s not breaking news, if they want to go to dinner tonight — they should go to bangordailynews.com. That should be the first place they come to find a place to eat in our coverage area.”
   Davis will help coordinate the efforts of reporters, photographers, editors and contributors to ensure bangordailynews.com provides readers with up-to-the-minute news and the most useful information possible. He also will identify and produce multimedia projects and assist in developing strategies to grow audience through social networking and mobile applications.
   In addition to his work at the Kennebec Journal, Davis served as editor-in-chief for The Maine Campus, the newspaper at the University of Maine, also serving as production and design assistant and online editor. He previously worked at CoPress, a start-up company that provided media organizations with the resources needed to maintain a relevant and current website.
   Bangordailynews.com attracts 150,000 unique visitors a month. In 2008, it was named the best newspaper website in the region by the New England Newspaper Association.

Two sales openings at MTM; MPA seeking new executive director

Maine Today Media is accepting applications for a sales manager for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel in Waterville and an inside sales manager at the Portland Press Herald.
   In addition, Maine Press Association Executive Director Mike Lange has announced his retirement effective Dec. 1, 2010, so applications are being accepted for this part-time position as well.
   Click on our Classified link for all the information.