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President of USA Today named new CEO of AP

NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press Board of Directors announced Friday that Tom Curley, president and publisher of USA Today, would succeed Louis D. Boccardi as president and chief executive officer of the world's largest news organization, effective June 1.

Burl Osborne, chairman of the AP board of directors and publisher emeritus of The Dallas Morning News, said Curley, who is 54, would move to AP headquarters in New York in a few weeks. Boccardi is 65, and will retire after 18 years as leader of AP's worldwide operations, half of his 36-year AP career.

Curley will be the 12th person to lead the AP since its founding in 1848.

The AP, a not-for-profit news cooperative of U.S. newspapers and broadcasters, provides more than 15,000 media outlets worldwide and thousands of commercial customers with news stories, photographs, audio, video and multimedia online products.

"Tom Curley is an experienced journalist and news and business executive uniquely qualified to lead The AP," said Osborne following a board meeting Friday.

"His broad experience in news, finance and management and his lifelong passion for excellence in journalism in all its forms make him an ideal choice for an AP already well positioned for future growth."

Osborne said Curley's experience with the smallest as well as the largest newspapers, with television and with digital services, equip him well to navigate today's complex news and information landscape.

Curley has been president and publisher of USA Today, the nation's largest-selling daily newspaper, since 1991. Since 1998 he also has been senior vice president of the newspaper's owner, Gannett Co. Inc., publisher of 100 daily newspapers in the United States.

Curley was the original news staffer on the project that led to the creation of USA Today. He was assigned in 1979 by then-Gannett Chairman Al Neuharth to study the feasibility of a national newspaper. He later worked in every department of the newspaper. In 1986, he became the newspaper's sixth president and in 1991 added the title of publisher.

USA Today circulation under Curley has grown to more than 2.3 million copies a day. The newspaper has launched four national programs recognizing individual achievement in education, created academic All-Star teams for the nation's high schools and colleges and honors for the nation's best teachers.