Veteran newsman, who guided the news wire into the digital age, says the key challenge for his successor, and all media companies, is simple: revenue
Tom Curley, President and CEO of the Associated Press, announced Monday that he will step down once the company’s board of directors finds a suitable replacement.
Curley led the AP during a period of great uncertainty for their member newspapers, as print advertising dried up and bureaus across the globe were shut down.
The decision appears to be Curley’s own rather than that of the boards.
“The truth is I could stay longer,” Curley said in a video made by the AP. “The board knows me and because I am a known quantity and we have worked together well I could stay, but it just seemed like this was the right moment.”
The same video showed images of Curley with Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, which is fitting since Curley said that the AP’s success is “still based on access.”
As for any advice Curley has for the next leader of the global news organization?
“The challenge for anyone running a media company these days can be described in one word: revenue,” Curley said.
To try and solve that problem, the AP, along with 28 other newspapers, launched NewsRight, a company that licenses their articles to aggregators who currently just scrape that content for free.
But even the AP and others involved in NewsRight know that it is not on its own a panacea, so Curley probably also two words for his successor: good luck.