After 4 1/2 years with NEWS CENTER Maine, Hannah Dineen will join sister station 10 Tampa Bay in January.
PORTLAND, Maine — After 4 1/2 incredible years working for NEWS CENTER Maine, my time at the station is coming to an end in a few weeks.
Goodbyes are always hard, but this one has some extra sting to it because I consider Maine my home.
I fell in love with broadcast news when I visited NEWS CENTER Maine in 5th grade. At the time, my dad was coaching the Portland Pirates and had an interview with Rob Caldwell for 207. Rob let me join my dad on the couch for the interview, and right then and there, I was sold!
For five years, my family lived in Cape Elizabeth, and when they eventually moved to Florida, I stayed put in New England. First, I crossed the border into New Hampshire, where I attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and then I came right back to Maine, attending Colby College in Waterville.
During my senior year at Colby, I convinced NEWS CENTER Maine’s Lee Goldberg to allow me to intern for the station. He has been a mentor and my “TV dad” ever since. Through freezing cold “Fifth Quarter” coverage and hiking with camera equipment as I shadowed Amanda Hill, I loved every moment of that internship and was thrilled to be offered a full-time job with the station after college.
I started out behind the scene, working from midnight to 8 a.m. as the producer of the 5 a.m. Morning Report. Sharon Rose and Lee Nelson expertly maneuvered my rookie errors for the first few months and were two of the best teachers I could have asked for in the business.
While I loved producing, I had the itch to get out of the newsroom and “into the action,” and jumped at the opportunity to begin reporting for NEWS CENTER Maine from our Bangor hub. That is where manager Dana Rosengard taught me how to “write like I talk,” find interesting stories, and not wear flashy earrings or lipstick that was too dark. I still do the latter sometimes but think of him when I do.
Eventually, when Chris Costa left NEWS CENTER Maine for our sister station in Houston, news director Mike Redding took a chance on me and offered me the position as weekend evening anchor. Anyone who watches this station knows what big shoes those were to fill! But alongside my friend, meteorologist Mike Slifer, anchoring on weekends became the highlight of my week. It also gave me an incredible platform to connect with our audience on a personal level. It has been the ultimate privilege to fill that role for the last 2 1/2 years.
The unfortunate occasions when I stumbled upon my reporter live shots from that first year are still a bit difficult for me to watch. The same goes for my first shows anchoring. That anchor/reporter stumbled quite a bit and sounded a bit more like a bad actor playing a reporter than she sounded like Hannah.
Fortunately, our audience was gracious. Truly, I cannot thank everyone enough for such kindness and support as I found my footing in this work. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a few negative messages that have stuck with me, but the kindness always outweighed the criticism. Mainers are a special bunch for that reason.
It has been my greatest privilege to tell stories across my home state. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many interesting and wonderful people doing this job. Many of you have made me smarter, more thoughtful, and more engaged in my community. You inspire me with your strength and courage and make me proud to consider myself a Mainer.
I don’t plan to stop telling stories any time soon. In January, I will be heading south to join our sister station 10 Tampa Bay as a reporter. While Maine will always be home, I think it’s important to leave the nest, even if it’s just for a little while. I’m a strong believer that getting out of one’s comfort zone is the key to growth, and this is a great opportunity for me to face new challenges and learn from another talented team of journalists.
My last day with NEWS CENTER Maine will be December 8. While my work email will change, all of my social media pages will remain the same. I would love it if we could keep in touch.
To everyone who has left me kind messages of congratulations and support already, I truly appreciate it. I’m really feeling the love and you have no idea what that means to me. Thank you!