Taylor joined the AP in 1977 and became its first female sports editor in 1992. As the AP’s sports editor, she oversaw over 100 staffers across the globe. She also helmed the AP’s Olympics coverage.
Taylor left the AP briefly, from December 1990 to September 1991, to join the New York Times as an assistant sports editor. However, she knew that it wasn’t the right fit.
“It was good for me,” Taylor told Editor & Publisher, of her stint with the paper. “I knew I didn’t belong there but belonged to the AP, the backbone of journalism. Get the news, verify it and send it out. For most of my career, that’s what I’ve done.”
Update (12:15 pm):
Below is the memo from the AP’s managing editor Lou Ferrara, announcing Taylor’s retirement.
AP Sports Staff,
I am writing today to let you know of significant leadership changes to the department.
Terry Taylor, who has been with the AP for 36 years and for the last 21 as its sports editor, has decided to retire effective Nov. 15.
John Affleck, who joined the AP 22 years ago and for the past year has served as the interim deputy sports editor, is leaving effective Aug. 15 to become the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Penn State University.
As many of you know, Terry has worked tirelessly to build AP Sports into what it is today — the leading breaking sports news operation on the planet for everything from the NFL to the Olympics and the World Cup. Terry’s passion and competitiveness will be missed, as it has inspired all of us to go after the big stories and provide news unmatched by others. Terry’s influence and leadeship has been felt throughout the sports news industry, from APSE to the IOC Press Commission and in numerous sports access battles over the years. Her retirement is well earned and deserved.
For the past year, John — who joined sports five years ago as its first enterprise editor — has been Terry’s right hand leading coverage of some of the top sports stories as all media has continued to go through upheaval. PSU is gaining a great mind.
I know all of you join me in wishing them well. I am scheduling calls for all sports staff to join next week to discuss the changes and next steps.
In short, we plan to post the sports editor job very soon, with the hope of having a leader in place before or around the time of Terry’s departure. That person will then hire a deputy and work with me and many of you on overall sports coverage and planning for major events, including the college bowl season, Super Bowl, the Olympics in Russia in February and the World Cup in Brazil in June.
We will be looking for a leader to continue to take the department into exciting new digital opportunities and directions.