Andrea de Leon’s Favorite Maine Place

NPR's Northeast bureau chief is finishing a mystery novel set in a fictionalized version of this seaside hamlet.

Pemaquid Harbor, Maine
By Sarah Stebbins
From our June 2024 issue

Since National Public Radio created the role of Northeast bureau chief, in 1999, only one person has held the job. New Gloucester’s Andrea de Leon assumed the position after 13 years as a reporter and news director for what’s now Maine Public, covering major events ranging from the 1989 sale of Millinocket’s Great Northern Paper Company to the ice storm of ’98. “I lived and reported that,” de Leon says, “working out of the Portland office, which had power, and going home to a dark house and sleeping in a sleeping bag next to the woodstove.”

Andrea de Leon
Headshot courtesy of NPR

When we caught up with de Leon, in April, she’d just gotten power back after a spring nor’easter and wrapped NPR’s coverage of another act of God: a rare, mild earthquake that struck New Jersey and sent aftershocks through Maine. As bureau chief, de Leon works with reporters to develop regional stories. She also edits NPR’s addiction and treatment beat, a focus that grew out of covering prescription-drug abuse in Maine.  

A native New Yorker, de Leon started her career as an undergrad working for St. Lawrence University’s public-radio station. After meeting her now-husband, who hails from South Portland, she looked for work in Maine. These days, the couple spends summers at their cottage on Pemaquid Harbor, in the village of New Harbor, a place that captivates de Leon. She’s currently finishing a mystery novel about a public-radio reporter who investigates a pair of murders in a fictionalized version of the seaside hamlet. “That part of the coast has a dreamy, timeless quality,” de Leon says. “I think that’s why it works so well for a mystery.”

May 2024, Down East Magazine

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