deepwater horizon rig on fire oil spill gulf coast

The Associated Press has named Steve Gutkin the newswire’s first ever oil spill editor.

Romenesko obtained the memo, which describes Gutkin’s background (Jerusalem bureau chief for six years) as well as who’s replacing Gutkin there (sorry, wannabes).

Gutkin will now move to Atlanta and supervise a team of journalists assigned to focus on the story and “keep us thinking of new and creative ways to cover this continuing and continually important story,” wrote senior managing editors John Daniszewski and Mike Oreskes in the memo.

“It is now clear this story will be with us, and with the people of the Gulf Coast, for a good long time to come,” the editors said.

The AP is currently recruiting for a temporary “impact reporter” to cover the effects of the spill on the economy and culture of the Gulf, and another business reporter to cover the oil industry and energy policy.

The effects of this disaster will certainly be with us for years to come, so we wouldn’t be surprised if other newsgathering operations hired their own oil spill editors, too.

photo: uscgd8