AP CEO Tom Curley To Retire

NEW YORK: From AP: Tom Curley, president and CEO of The Associated Press since 2003, will step down this year, AP announced Monday. The search for a successor has been launched by the AP board of directors.

Curley, who turns 64 this year, charted AP’s move into the digital space, from overseeing creation of a digital database of all AP content to assuring its availability on every platform in every format.

Curley was equally tireless in advocating for open government, deepening AP’s longstanding legal and legislative efforts to make the cooperative one of the nation’s most aggressive advocates for freedom of information. A speech he delivered in 2004 is credited with re-igniting the media mission to fight the government secrecy that many experts say increased after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. “The powerful have to be watched, and we are the watchers,” Curley said, in calling on the news industry to do more to protect freedom of information.

“Tom Curley was the perfect leader to guide AP through the roughest times the media industry has ever seen,” said William Dean Singleton, chairman of the AP board of directors and chairman of MediaNews Group Inc. “He was a visionary who understood the need for AP to quickly adapt to new digital times, a transformative leader who created innovative new business opportunities for our industry and an indefatigable newsman who made sure AP remained the definitive trusted source for breaking news.”

The board has formed a committee to search for a successor to Curley, headed by Mary Junck, chairman and CEO of Lee Enterprises and an AP board member. Curley will stay on until a successor is in place to assure a smooth transition.

Curley was only the 12th person to lead The Associated Press since its founding 166 years ago when he came to AP from his position as president and publisher of USA Today.