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Longtime anchor Pat Callaghan retires after more than four decades

"No one has anchored television newscasts in Maine longer, and it’s safe to say no one ever will," Rob Caldwell writes.


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Published: 5:45 PM EST December 9, 2022
Updated: 7:03 PM EST December 9, 2022

A goodbye from Rob Caldwell

Several years ago, Malcolm Gladwell wrote a best-selling book making the case that, in a wide number of complex professional or creative fields, “you need to have practiced, to have apprenticed, for 10,000 hours before you get good.”

It’s impossible to say exactly how much time Pat Callaghan has spent anchoring newscasts. But a rough calculationfive hours of news per week, 48 weeks per year, over 43 yearswould show that, remarkably, he’s hovering around that 10,000-hour mark. It’s encouraging to know the kid just might be hitting his stride.

Pat came to NEWS CENTER Maine in 1979, working at WLBZ in Bangor until 1983, then moving to WCSH in Portland. In 1989 the station made him co-anchor of the flagship 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. No one has anchored television newscasts in Maine longer, and it’s safe to say no one ever will.

How to account for that longevity? Consider what Pat brought to the job: intelligence, curiosity, an interest in people and stories, high journalistic standards, and—this last one might be the most crucial—an unflagging sense of humor.

In the beginning, he shot film (and developed it!), made calls by dropping dimes into pay phones, timed newscasts on a decades-old adding machine, and banged out stories on a manual typewriter in a newsroom filled with cigarette smoke. The technology has changed, but the mission has not, and Pat has never wavered in his belief that local news matters, that real journalism is a crucial thread in the fabric of democracy.

In this article, you’ll find a number of stories by and about Pat and a farewell collection of greatest hits. As he gets ready to start a new chapter in life, those of us who’ve worked with him have mixed feelings. No doubt he’s earned his retirement, but he’s going to be keenly missed. Too bad we can’t get another 10,000 hours out of him.

Credit: Pat Callaghan
(upper left) Pat Callaghan, Jim Corbin, (lower left) Rob Caldwell, Susan Kimball, and Bill Green in 1986

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