"My first column was about Bill Clinton shaking his finger at all of us, saying 'he did not have sex with that woman,' and how we would explain that to our kids," said McCarthy. "My second was about apple picking, and Sue asked me why it was so pretty and lyrical."
McCarthy's next gig was as part-time copy editor, which she combined with reporting. She returned to copy editing when Graves had some health setbacks, and in September 2005, she was named senior managing editor. When Graves retired in January 2006, McCarthy was named editor-in-chief of all 12 Spotlight editions.
"Growing the papers to 12 was something I was very proud to be a part of," said McCarthy. "I've loved learning about all the communities, and I'm so impressed with the commitment of the leaders and residents. People look for a mix of hard news and features from the papers, and you never know what will strike a chord and inspire them to take action, whether that leads them to contribute their time, make donations, or volunteer."
McCarthy said she has worked to impress readers with the fact that Spotlight reporters are responsible for delivering fair, balanced stories.
"The reporters are very professional," said McCarthy. "More than anything, they look at both sides of an issue and stick to the truth. Hopefully people recognize that commitment when they open our pages."
"I loved writing the columns, the features and the editorials, and I will truly miss that connection with people," said McCarthy. "I hope I've inspired them to take action by pointing out opportunities in their towns."
Tim Mulligan, who has served as managing editor since October 2005, has been appointed executive editor.
McIntyre said Mulligan's years with Spotlight Newspapers have provided a good platform for his new leadership role.