Cochran to Retire From RTNDA

Barbara Cochran, president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association for 12 years, will retire in June 2009, the group announced Thursday on its Web site.

She will continue to serve as a consultant to the organization with the title of president emeritus.

At RTNDA, Cochran held as top priority the defense of First Amendment rights of electronic journalists.

“Barbara Cochran’s leadership took RTNDA’s advocacy on behalf of electronic journalists to a new level, especially in the fight to preserve hard-fought First Amendment gains and protections,” RTNDA Chairman Ed Esposito said. “Barbara’s stand for strong ethical practices and journalistic excellence help set a standard for our industry.”

One top accomplishment: the release of selected audio recordings of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I’m honored to have had the privilege of leading this historic organization and speaking out on behalf of electronic journalists for the past 12 years,” Cochran said in a statement. “The most rewarding part of this job has been meeting the terrific people working in this business and making friendships that I hope will last for many years to come. I’m looking forward to staying involved with RTNDA and continuing to support excellent, independent journalism.”

RTNDA has already begun the process looking for a successor, the association said.