Five longtime journalists retire from Courier & Press


Five veteran journalists retired from the Evansville Courier & Press this month.

Linda Negro started in the newsroom in 1980 and has filled multiple positions since. She began as a reporter, climbed the ladder to managing editor, and when corporate bosses changed the structure took responsibility for engagement with our readers as grassroots editor.

She serves as president of Leadership Evansville and has been active in state journalism circles, with both the Associated Press Media Editors and the selection committee for the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.

Reporter Carol Wersich has spent more than half a century at the newspaper, where she started as a college freshman. In recent years she has been the business reporter.

Roger McBain has been the arts and entertainment writer since 1985, covering everything from museums to the philharmonic to theater, with an occasional weekend shift as a cops reporter.

John Lucas has mentored reporters, freelancers and interns to improve their copy in his role as assistant metro editor. He also wrote a weekly column about life at his homestead in Crittenden County, just across the Union County line in Western Kentucky.

Visual journalist Kevin Swank joined the staff in 1979 and has excelled at adapting with the times, with real-time reporting for web publishing and creating videos to help tell stories.

Among those steeping into new roles is Abbey Doyle, who has been with the newspaper about two years. She will lead the features department. New reporter Kelly Gifford will cover arts and entertainment.

Erin McCracken has been a staff photographer for eight years and now will lead the newspapers’ visual journalists and schedule pictures for the Courier & Press, The Henderson Gleaner and the Evansville Business Journal, plus special sections.

Jon Webb has been on the newspaper’s copy desk for three years; he now rotates to the metro desk and will work on editing copy, reacting to breaking news, and working closely to help our digital team, veteran reporters, freelancers and college interns develop their stories.

The retirees hopefully will contribute columns and other freelance work to the newspaper as their schedules allow, said Editor Tim Ethridge.