Sally Buzbee, AP editor with Washington, Mideast experience, is new Washington bureau chief

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sally Buzbee named AP Washington bureau chief

NEW YORK — Sally Buzbee, a deputy managing editor of The Associated Press who has held leadership positions for the news cooperative in Washington, the Middle East and New York, has been named chief of the Washington bureau.

The appointment was announced Friday by Senior Managing Editor Mike Oreskes.

“Sally Buzbee has a wealth of preparation for this vital post,” Oreskes said. “A daughter of the Great Plains, she is a trained and seasoned manager, a former correspondent in California and Washington, an expert on America’s two wars and, above all, an aggressive and visionary journalistic leader.”

Buzbee most recently led AP’s News Center in New York, which works minute-to-minute with AP’s regional and department leaders to deliver competitive coverage across text, video and photos. The center also plays an important role in product development efforts and as an incubator for new ways to engage readers and viewers. Tom Kent, the AP’s deputy managing editor for standards and production, will become interim head of the News Center during the search for a new permanent head, Oreskes said.

The AP Washington bureau has more than 100 reporters and editors, working in a central multimedia newsroom and in offices at White House and other key locations throughout Washington. The bureau includes specialized units for polling and investigative reporting. It is closely integrated with AP’s radio, video and interactive teams and collaborates daily with AP bureaus throughout the United States and the world.

Buzbee, 45, was the news agency’s Middle East editor, based in Cairo, from 2004 to late 2009, supervising Iraq war coverage and overseeing news, staff, budgets and logistics in 16 countries stretching from Libya to Iran.

Under her leadership, the AP opened a news bureau in Saudi Arabia, one of the first Western agencies to do so, and expanded coverage of Iran. She led coverage of the 2008 Israeli offensive in Gaza, the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war, the Darfur crisis and terrorist cells in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and elsewhere.

Prior to her assignment to Cairo, Buzbee served as assistant chief of bureau in Washington, supervising foreign affairs and national security coverage in the wake of the invasion of Iraq and guiding the news agency’s daily news production from the nation’s capital.

In earlier Washington assignments, she covered education and politics and directed coverage of economics and foreign affairs.

Buzbee joined the AP in Topeka, Kan., in 1988 and was correspondent in San Diego before moving to Washington in 1995. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Georgetown University.

Buzbee succeeds Ron Fournier, who left the AP to become editor-in-chief of the National Journal Group.

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