Hollis R. Towns, executive editor of the Asbury Park Press
in Neptune, N.J., was elected Thursday president of the Associated Press
Managing Editors at the group’s annual conference in St. Petersburg, Fla.
"I’m thrilled to be elected president of an organization
with such a rich history and bright future,” said Towns, 46. "I plan to build
on the successes of the past year by growing the membership, extending our
reach and launching an important national reporting project with The Associated
Towns began his career at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
as a reporter. He became executive editor at the Cincinnati (Ohio) Enquirer
before being named editor at the Asbury newspaper, which is owned by the
Bob Heisse, executive editor of the Centre Daily Times in State
College, Pa., was elected vice president of the association and will serve as
president in 2012.
Brad Dennison, vice president of News & Interactive
for GateHouse Media, and Debra Adams Simmons, newly named editor of The Plain
Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio, were selected for the leadership ladder of APME.
The APME board's action placed Dennison in line to be
president of the organization in 2013 and Adams Simmons in 2014. Dennison will
serve as secretary and Adams Simmons as Journalism Today chair next year.
APME, an association of editors at AP's 1,500 member newspapers in the U.S. and
newspapers served by The Canadian Press in Canada, 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.
Otis Sanford, editor for opinion and editorials for The Commercial Appeal of
Memphis, Tenn., completed his term as association president and will become
president of the APME Foundation.
Dennison has been with GateHouse Media Inc., since October 2006. He oversees
all aspects of GateHouse’s news and online operations. From May 2004 to October
2006, he served as vice president of news for Birmingham, Ala.-based Community
Newspaper Holdings Inc. Previously, he held editing positions at the Chicago
Sun-Times, the Daily Southtown on Chicago’s South Side, and various community
newspapers in the Midwest and South.
"I’m honored to have the opportunity to play a key leadership role for this
great organization over the next few years,” Dennison said. "APME has done an
excellent job of being at the forefront of everything from First Amendment
issues to providing training and development to our newsrooms, and we will
continue to find ways to build innovative programs onto a very strong
Adams Simmons served as managing editor of The Plain Dealer for
three years. Prior to that, she was editor and vice president as well as
managing editor of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal. She
also worked in editorial roles at The Virginian-Pilot, the Detroit
Free Press, the Hartford (Conn.) Courant and the Syracuse
is a marvelous opportunity to play an important role in shaping APME's
future," Adams Simmons said.
chairing the 2011 APME conference in Denver. "The Mile High City promises
big things," she said.
Reelected to terms on the board were Jon Broadbooks,
executive editor of the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill.; J. Todd
Foster, executive editor of the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press; Alan D.
Miller, managing editor of the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch; and Jack Lail,
multimedia editor of the Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel.
Elected to terms on the board were Carol L. Hanner,
managing editor of the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal; Teri Hayt, managing editor
of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson; J.B. Bittner, editor of the Stillwater
(Okla.) News Press; and Chris Cobler, editor of the Victoria (Texas) Advocate.