The Lincoln County News Publisher Chris Roberts has named Deputy Editor J.W. Oliver the next editor of the newspaper.
Oliver will move into the role upon the departure of Editor Sherwood Olin, who announced his resignation in an editorial last week. Olin plans to step down in late February.
Oliver, 31, grew up in South Bristol. He is a ninth-generation resident of Lincoln County. Except for a partial kindergarten year at South Bristol School, he is a product of home schooling from kindergarten through high school.
Oliver holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the University of Maine at Farmington, where he also studied journalism and feature writing and was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper as a senior.
The Lincoln County News hired Oliver in May 2010 to cover the towns of Alna, Dresden, Edgecomb, Westport Island, and Wiscasset. He has since reported from every town in the county, as well as Hibbert’s Gore and Monhegan Plantation.
His byline is most familiar to readers in Bristol, Damariscotta, Newcastle, and South Bristol, where he was assigned from September 2010 until his promotion to deputy editor in May 2014.
As deputy editor, Oliver assists in the management of the news staff, edits staff work and outside submissions, and remains active as a reporter.
Shortly after becoming deputy editor, Oliver spearheaded the newspaper’s ongoing partnership with the Bangor Daily News with the intention of better informing readers about statewide issues.
As a reporter, he oversaw the newspaper’s successful return to competition in the Maine Press Association Better Newspaper Contest after a long absence. The newspaper has collected 33 awards in the last three years of the contest.
“I am grateful to Sherwood for giving me an opportunity as a rookie reporter in 2010, and I am grateful to the Roberts family for entrusting me with the leadership of the newsroom,” Oliver said.
“I have deep roots in Lincoln County and The Lincoln County News has always been part of my life,” Oliver said. “I am dedicated to continuing to serve our readers, preserving the 139-year legacy of this newspaper, and strengthening it as we continue to confront the challenges and embrace the opportunities presented by changes across the industry.”
The Lincoln County News Publisher Chris Roberts said he is pleased to announce the hire.
“We are happy to have as our next editor someone who shares our family’s commitment to serve the community,” Roberts said. “J.W. has a strong sense of fairness, and we believe he has the skills, vision, and work ethic to lead the newsroom forward.”
Oliver represents the newspaper on the Maine Press Association Board of Directors and sits on the association’s contest, legislative, and scholarship committees.
Outside the office, he likes to spend time with family and play basketball. He manages and plays for The Lincoln County News-sponsored team in the men’s league at The First Baptist Church of Waldoboro.
Oliver lives in South Bristol with his wife, Rachael Oliver, and their 4-month-old son, Harrison.