Buzbee, Fakahany named to key AP management roles

AP News
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Posted: Jan 05, 2010 5:01 PM

Sally Buzbee, who as Middle East editor for The Associated Press has supervised Iraq war coverage and numerous other key stories and events, has been promoted to deputy managing editor for the new AP News Center. Tamer Fakahany, managing editor of news production for AP Television News, has been named assistant managing editor.

The appointments were announced Tuesday by Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll.

Buzbee's role will be to build out and run the News Center, a new global headquarters operation in New York that will work closely with AP's regional and department leaders to deliver the most comprehensive, competitive coverage in all formats of the day's top stories.

Fakahany will be the News Center's No. 2 leader and will work U.S. evening hours, as Asia, the Middle East and Europe are beginning their days.

While there has always been supervision of AP's news coverage from headquarters, the News Center is a new concept intended to help support field leaders who are directing coverage. It also will be a place to experiment with new kinds of storytelling and fresh ways to engage readers and viewers.

As Middle East editor based in Cairo, Buzbee, 44, was in charge of content, staff, budgets and complex logistics in 16 countries stretching from Libya to Iran and south to Sudan. Under her leadership, which involved working closely with text, photos and video, 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 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war, the Darfur crisis and the growing activities of terrorist cells in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

She and Fakahany worked together closely overseeing coverage of the 2008 Israeli military operations in Gaza.

Fakahany, 46, has worked in television news for 20 years in both newsgathering and news production. In his most recent role as APTN's managing editor of news production in London, he has overseen all international video output. He has led 35 editors and producers in London and worked closely with senior editors in other formats and in other regions. He also was an architect of the AP's multiformat London production center.

Buzbee will report to Senior Managing Editor Mike Oreskes. Her appointment in New York is effective immediately. Fakahany will move in coming weeks.

"In Sally and Tamer we have found two very strong, and very different, leaders," Oreskes said. "Each has set high standards in their own work and each has a proven record of leading those around them to new heights. They know the news. They know the AP and they know what we need to do to succeed."

Before moving to Egypt in 2004, Buzbee covered education, politics and economics in AP's Washington, D.C., bureau and later was named assistant chief of bureau supervising foreign affairs coverage. She 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.

Fakahany has worked in front-line assignments in conflict zones in Bosnia and the Gulf and was among the leaders of coverage of the 2002 World Cup in Seoul, the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 1992, 2004 and 2008 U.S. presidential elections.

Prior to joining APTN 11 years ago he was with WTN television, the English and Arabic services of BBC World TV and MEBC.

He holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.