Powell was managing editor of the Journal Inquirer, a daily newspaper in Manchester, Connecticut, from 1974 to 2018, when he retired from his management work while remaining the newspaper's political columnist. He began working at the paper when he left high school in 1967. His a column is published by many other Connecticut newspapers. He often appears on radio and television public-affairs programs in Connecticut.
From 2004 through 2009 he was legislative chairman of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information and remains a member of its Board of Directors. In 2006 he was inducted into the Academy of New England Journalists by the New England chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the New England Society of Newspaper Editors.
He is a member of the Connecticut, Manchester, and Vernon historical societies and the International Churchill Society.