Keith Shortall

Director, News & Public Affairs

Keith Shortall is MPBN's News and Public Affairs Director. He grew up in Thomaston, Maine and graduated from Bowdoin College in 1982, majoring in philosophy. He began his career in commercial broadcasting in Portland, before moving to MPBN in 1989. Keith's interests include music (if you consider drummers to be musicians), and theater.

Ways to Connect

Consuelo Kanaga / Brooklyn Museum/Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve ever had children or ever were one, chances are you’ve cracked the cover of “Goodnight Moon,” the colorful picture book illustrated by Clement Hurd and written by Margaret Wise Brown.

Brown, who died 64 years ago at the age of 42, had connections to Maine throughout her life, including a summer home on Vinalhaven that she called “The Only House.”

This week on Vinalhaven, the community is celebrating a series of events celebrating her life and work. They include a Thursday evening talk by author Amy Gary, who is writing a biography of Brown due out next year.

Newly released court documents paint a picture of an Iranian immigrant in Freeport who became radicalized after moving to Maine in 2009, left his wife and three kids behind and was killed fighting for the Islamic State in Lebanon last year.

Adnan Fazeli had come under investigation by the FBI shortly after he left his job in Portland to fly to Turkey and never returned. The details of the story are chronicled by a team of reporters in today’s Portland Press Herald.

PORTLAND, Maine - Portland Press Herald owner Reade Brower says he would require that readers pay for online news, as one of the changes he'll make upon purchase of two Vermont newspapers.

Brower told Vermont Public Radio that it's just common sense. "You know, you have to have some sort of a paywall that makes sense, because, you know, news is your core product. And  if you're giving it away, as some of our competitors continue to do, I just don't understand the monetary model that works.  So that's the simple answer."

It’s Thursday and time for Across the Aisle, our weekly political roundtable on Maine politics.

This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney with the Portland firm of Troubh Heisler; Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising and Marketing and a former Republican lawmaker; and Dick Woodbury, and economist who served in the Legislature as an independent.

The owner of the Portland Press Herald is expanding his newspaper operations in New England.

Reade Brower and partner Chip Harris of New Hampshire have entered into an agreement to purchase two newspapers in Vermont from the the family that has operated them for decades.

The Mitchell family has owned the Rutland Herald since 1947, and the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus since 1964. But mounting financial pressures, says Rutland Herald Editor in Chief Rob Mitchell, have finally forced his family to sell both papers.

Maine Superintendent of Insurance Eric Cioppa has denied an appeal from Progressive Insurance that sought to increase car insurance rates for Mainers who turn 65.

The company’s plan would have applied only to new customers, but Cioppa concluded that it would violate the state’s insurance code, which prohibits increases in rates based solely on a customer reaching a certain age.

Hiring sign at Goodwill in Rockland.
Keith Shortall/MPBN

You may have noticed a few more “help wanted” signs in business storefronts in Maine this summer. Some employers are reporting it’s hard to find skilled help, others point to higher paying seasonal jobs, particularly along the coast, that are attracting job-seekers.

It's Thursday and time for Across the Aisle, our weekly look at Maine politics.

This week, Democratic state Rep. John Martin of Eagle Lake, UMaine political science professor Amy Fried and Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising and Marketing, a former Republican lawmaker.

The latest on the Race for the White House and news from the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.  We'll look back at the speakers making headlines, and preview what Hillary Clinton will say in her acceptance speech.

Guests:  Ron Schmidt, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern Maine. He author of This Is the City: Making Model Citizens in Los Angeles (University of Minnesota Press, 2005).

Though it sounds like science fiction, limb regeneration in humans is entirely within the realm of possibility. It can also help in wound healing and in the development of highly sophisticated prosthetic devices that are much more sensitive and effective than those that are currently in use.

Guests:  Dr. Voot P. Yin, assistant professor at MDI Biological Laboratory

Dr. Benjamin L. King, senior staff scientist at MDI Biological Laboratory

In a time when police are in the headlines over race relations and shootings, what are the challenges for law enforcement? We'll discuss the role of police in the community, as well as training and education, workload, drug enforcement and other issues. Guests:  Michael Sauschuck, Portland Police Chief  Joel Merry, Sheriff of Sagadahoc County and president of Maine Sheriff's Association  Colonel Robert Williams with Maine State Police


It’s Thursday and time for Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on Maine politics. This week, Mike Cuzzi, a Democratic strategist and senior vice president of Vox Global in Portland, and Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising and Marketing, a former Republican lawmaker.

We often hear much about how China's economy is faring, how it's military is growing, and how it seeks a greater role on the world stage.  But what about the lives of the people of China? Which issues are important to them? Maine Public Radio's Keith Shortall recently spoke with Marketplace China correspondent Rob Schmitz about his new book 'Street of Eternal Happiness - Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road.'  Keith asked about the role of religion in present day China...

The latest on the Race for the White House and news from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Guests: Abby Bennett, Chair of the College Republican Federal of Maine and a rising junior at UMaine Orono.

Michael Cianchette, former counsel to Governor LePage

Jeanne Cummings, political reporter, Wall Street Journal

James Libby, Professor of Business Administration, Thomas College

China 2016

Jul 20, 2016

Marketplace China correspondent Rob Schmitz discusses his new book “Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road.”  Joining Rob will be Bowdoin College Assistant Professor Christopher Heurlin and Connie Zhu, a Chinese language teacher, translator and radio host who grew up in Shanghai.

Guests:  Rob Schmitz, author of "Street of Eternal Happiness."  He's also China correspondent for MarketPlace; he will soon be the new Shanghai correspondent for NPR.

Christopher Heurlin, Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and Government, Bowdoin College