Dear Sun Spots: I have been a fan of Kim Block of Channel 13 for many years, watching her get married and have children. I have always wondered what her husband does for work. Is he perhaps involved in newspaper or the TV media, too? Thank you for your information. – Jan LaFlamme, Waterville.

Answer: Block kindly responded to Sun Spots’ request and notes she recently celebrated her 25th anniversary on the 6 p.m. news anchor desk at WGME 13.

She says it’s as hard for her to believe, as she’s sure it is for viewers, that a quarter of a century has passed since her first nerve-racking night in front of a camera.

Block moved to Maine right out of college to work at a radio station. She was at Indiana University, although she grew up in a suburb of Washington, D.C.

After several radio news jobs, Block decided to audition for the anchor position at what was then WGAN-TV. She freely admits it was a case of being in the right place, at the right time. However, she also had the advantage of having a track record in the area as a broadcast journalist.

She’s always said it’s important to be prepared for when you may get your “lucky break.” And that was hers.

Block notes the industry has changed a great deal since she started. For one, a few years of television experience is a requirement now before reporters or anchors are hired. But beyond that, the amount of news coverage has increased dramatically. The technology has consistently improved, as well. A few things haven’t changed much.

Viewers still are more critical of a female anchor’s appearance than they are of a male anchor – and, she says, it’s yet to be proven that women will be allowed to age gracefully in front of a camera – a la Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather. And while the opportunities for women have increased in the business, women are still just beginning to be accepted into prime time network anchor roles.

One of Block’s favorite stories is one that happened just a year or so after she started. She traveled to Falmouth, England, to cover the arrival of solo sailor Bill Dunlop of Mechanic Falls. Termed the “lone yachtsman,” Dunlop set a world record for his transatlantic solo voyage in the smallest vessel ever: a 9-foot sailboat named “Wind’s Will.”

He sailed from Falmouth, Maine, to Falmouth, England. Channel 13 and Block were there when he arrived, 76 days later, exhausted and barely able to stand on his feet.

Block says she’s always met many courageous families and children through her medical and health reporting, and loves doing stories on people who are “Inspiring ME.” She’s currently working on a new series of reports titled “Achieving Life Balance,” a topic near and dear to her heart as a full-time working mother of two children.

Block was also very willing to answer your personal questions: She says her son, Miles, is 11 and daughter, Molly, is 7 years old.

“They bring me great joy, as does my husband of 12 years.”

And no, he does not work in the media. He is the business manager for FPL Energy in Yarmouth. They met through his brother, who used to be a news photographer at WGME.

The most rewarding stories for Block are those that can make a difference in someone’s life.

“For me it’s not just about spreading the news, it’s about spreading compassion.”

Dear Sun Spots: I recently saw my letter about Oprah books in your column and noticed that I forgot to put my phone number in. It is 926-4281. I realize the Bill Cosby ones: “The Meanest Thing to Say,” “The Treasure Hunt” and “The Best Way to Play” are actually children’s books but are recommended to be read by adults too. I also listed “Stones From The River” by Ursula Hegi. If anyone has them I would like them. Thanks again. – B.T., New Gloucester.

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