Fred Bever has resigned from his position at the Maine Public Broadcasting Network to hook up with another organization with "public" in its name. Bever, who spent the last six-plus years as Maine Public Radio's State House reporter and the past couple of years as co-host of Maine Public TV's "MaineWatch" program, is filling in through mid-October as spokesperson for the Maine Public Utilities Commission. After that, he said, he's not sure what he wants to do.
"MPBN gave me an incredible opportunity to refine my skill, to deploy my skills in a way that was useful to the public," Bever said. "I'm now hoping to approach the public interest from a different angle."
Bever said that while he still wants to be involved in state politics, signing on with the campaign of a candidate for U.S. senator or representative in 2008 "sort of runs against the grain."
Before coming to Maine, Bever spent more than a dozen years working for newspapers in Vermont, and he said returning to that state is a possibility.
As for his replacement at MPBN, news director Keith Shortall said he hopes to hire someone in the next few weeks. "Finding people who want to live in the Augusta area and want to cover the State House 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it's hard," he said. "Where do you advertise that?"
Until Bever's replacement is found, Capitol News Service's Mal Leary remains the only radio reporter left in the incredible shrinking State House press corps.Al Diamon can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org .