Tim McGovern, The Herald's managing editor for three years in the first half of the 1980s, died Dec. 24 in Denver. He was 73. The cause was kidney failure.
McGovern had an English degree and had been a reporter at several newspapers, including most recently at the Denver Post and The Rocky Mountain News, before coming to Durango. He set high standards for readability, reporting accuracy, and proper composition, and was a good coach. But a reporter did not want to make the same grammatical mistake twice.
McGovern was known to readers for bringing the very popular Gridiron Green football contest to The Herald. Participants guessed the winners of the week's NFL games but then had to rank them based on how certain they were of the expected result. Many said the game took skill. About 1,200 people played the game - one entry only - and the top 50 or so scores appeared in the paper. So did the worst 20 scores, which reportedly discouraged some notable Durangoans from risking participating.
McGovern enjoyed virtual football, developing a large following. The Herald was an afternoon paper at the time, and after getting an early start on the day and finishing page 1 about 2:45 McGovern was off to a virtual football gathering.
The Herald won numerous journalism prizes under McGovern's leadership, including a sweepstake best-in-the-state among all circulation categories. A smaller paper was not expected to win the sweepstakes, and in subsequent years the contest created a "best" award for each category.
A full obituary for Tim McGovern appeared in the Sunday Jan 3, 2021 Denver Post.
Published in Pine River Times on Jan. 4, 2021.