Bob Heisse, executive editor of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa., was elected president of the Associated Press Media Editors at the group's annual conference in Denver.
As vice president this year, Heisse worked closely with the AP-APME Broken Budgets reporting initiative and oversaw the expansion of the five-year-old APME Innovator of the Year contest to award monthly recognition.
"More than ever APME is delivering for newsrooms, whether it's in top training through NewsTrain, top content through national projects, or guidance in unsteady times." Heisse said. "Thousands of editors in our newsrooms need the support and resources that APME can offer."
"I look forward to welcoming AP broadcasters, educators and student media editors to APME," he said. "We have a lot planned in coming months, including new social media projects, continuing two national reporting initiatives on Broken Budgets and Aging America, and unveiling the APME50 project to reach out to editors in a new way."
APME -- an association of editors at AP's 1,400 member newspapers in the U.S. and newspapers served by The Canadian Press in Canada, and 3,000 AP broadcast outlets in the U.S. -- works closely with the news company to strive for journalism excellence. APME also supports training and development of editors in a changing media landscape, as well as initiatives in online credibility and diversity. Its name was changed Wednesday to Associated Press Media Editors to reflect the changing makeup of the 78-year-old organization.
Heisse began his career at Bucks County Courier Times in Levittown, Pa., and later became city editor of the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa.. A Penn State journalism graduate, he joined the Centre Daily Times, which is owned by the McClatchy Co., in 2002.
He is immediate past president of the Pennsylvania APME and is a former president of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors.
He will serve as association president until the next APME conference, which will be held at the First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 18-21, 2012.
Other APME officers elected were Brad Dennison, vice president of News & Interactive for GateHouse Media, as vice president, and Debra Adams Simmons, editor of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer as secretary. Dennison will serve as president in 2013 and Adams Simmons in 2014.
Added to the APME ladder as Journalism Today chair was Alan D. Miller, managing editor/news for The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. He is in his second term on the APME board and will serve as association president in 2015.
Miller is a past president of the Associated Press Society of Ohio and a member of the professional advisory board for the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.
He started at the Dispatch as a reporter in 1984 and served in various roles before becoming managing editor in 2004. He previously worked at The Repository in Canton, Ohio, and The Daily Record in Wooster, Ohio. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Ohio University.
Hollis Towns,executive editor of the Asbury Park Press in Neptune, N.J., completed his term as association president and will become president of the APME Foundation. Otis Sanford, who holds the Hardin Endowed Chair of Excellence at the University of Memphis, has completed his service to APME with a term as Foundation president.
Re-elected to terms on the board were: Michael Days, managing editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer; Jan Touney, executive editor of the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa; Martin G. Reynolds, editor of the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune; and Laura Kessel, managing editor of the News Herald of Willoughby, Ohio; and Kurt Franck, Executive Editor of the Toledo (Ohio) Blade.
Elected to an at-large term on the board was Aminda (Mindy) Marques Gonzalez, executive editor of The Miami Herald.
Elected to the small newspaper seat was Bill Church, executive editor of the Statesman-Journal of Salem, Ore.
Elected to the online seat was Joe Hight, director of information and development at The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com in Oklahoma City.
Elected to the new seat for an AP broadcast member was Jim Farley, vice president for news and programming at WTOP-FM in Washington, D.C.