The AP announced on its website this morning that Tom Curley, president and CEO of The Associated Press since 2003, will step down this year. The search for a successor has been launched by the AP Board of Directors. Curley won’t leave until a successor is in place.
Clearly this is a time to boast. According to a release, 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. All the while, he insisted on maintaining the values of accuracy and trust that have been a hallmark of AP since its founding in 1846. It is these news values, he said, that distinguish AP from other agencies and assure its future.”
Once gushing starts it’s hard to stop. The release states that a speech he gave 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.” Curley apparently called on the news media to do more to protect freedom of information, saying, “The powerful have to be watched, and we are the watchers.”
They also called him “perfect” and a “visionary.”
Curley’s words…Last week he returned from opening up a bureau in North Korea. He had this to say about his retirement: “I told the board some time ago when I would be retiring, but it is hard to think about leaving this special organization. There is this passion, this commitment to journalism in its purest form that makes it unique on the planet. Nowhere else does anyone have such a direct opportunity to commit journalism and have as much impact as they do here. I got to be a part of it, and play a role in its mission to break news first from around the world. I’ve been honored to work for AP.”