Mary Dodge Brewer, former managing editor of the Boothbay Register and Wiscasset Newspaper, and Ann B. McGowan, former managing editor of the Morning Sentinel in Waterville, have been selected as the 2012 inductees to the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame.
In nominating Mary Brewer, the newspapers’ Executive Editor R. Joseph Gelarden and Publisher A.R. Tandy wrote, “In her 50 plus years on the job, she demonstrated the finest characteristics of our profession: integrity, honesty, courage, hard work, and just plain common sense.”
Brewer, a 1959 graduate of Boothbay Region High School, joined the Register as a summer intern soon after completing her first year at the University of Maine, and began work full-time after graduating from the Katharine Gibbs school in Boston.
Under her leadership, the Register published major stories on such issues as the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant and covered town meetings, local businesses and community festivals. It has been reported that the late columnist and commentator Andy Rooney once said, “One of my favorite newspapers in the world is the Boothbay Register. … If I wanted to show someone in a foreign country what America was really like I’d buy them the Boothbay Register.”
Upon her retirement earlier this year, Brewer, who was president of the Maine Press Association in 1982-83 and Maine Journalist of the Year in 1984, told readers, “I’m firmly convinced that weekly newspapers provide something the dailies will never have; they are the history of a community and its people. Look through the papers of twenty, thirty, or fifty years ago and you’ll see what I mean.”
Ann McGowan joined the Morning Sentinel as a correspondent in 1961, at a time when contributors were paid 15 cents per column inch. She worked as the newspaper’s first full-time feature writer and was appointed features editor and a senior editor of MaineSay, the Sentinel’s statewide news magazine.
The longtime Pittsfield resident was named editorial page editor in 1990 and then became one of the first women to be appointed managing editor of a Maine daily newspaper. She won several awards from the Maine Press Association and the New England Associated Press, including a first-place writing award for a series on teenage drug abuse and a first-place award for the Sentinel’s editorial pages.
“Ann knew every job in the newsroom and was a great supervisor and role model because of it,” said reporter and columnist Amy Calder, who with Sentinel colleague Darla Pickett nominated McGowan. “She had great news sense and always remained cool when things got hectic. She always treated her superiors, peers and those she managed with great respect.”
McGowan retired in 1996. In her retirement, she has written a book on the history of Cianbro and served as chair of a successful fundraising campaign for the Pittsfield Public Library.
The Maine Press Association Hall of Fame was established in 1998 to honor newspaper journalists with Maine connections who have made outstanding contributions to the profession. With the 2012 inductions, the Hall of Fame will have 54 members.
The Hall of Fame luncheon and induction ceremony will be held Oct. 13 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport as part of the annual Maine Press Association Fall Conference. To register for the Hall of Fame ceremony or the entire conference, contact firstname.lastname@example.org