Gerry Ahern of YahooSports and Ben Brigandi of the Williamsport (Pa.) Sun-Gazette have been elected APSE’s new 2nd and 3rd Vice Presidents, Executive Director Jack Berninger has announced.
The two editors prevailed in tightly-contested elections, according to Berninger, and assume office at the Executive Committee meeting at the conclusion of the APSE convention in Salt Lake City on June 26.
As 2nd Vice President, Ahern primarily will oversee the APSE website as both webmaster and editor. He begins a three-year term as an APSE officer.
He replaces Michael Anastasi of The Salt Lake Tribune, who moves up to 1st Vice President primarily overseeing the APSE contest. Phil Kaplan, presently 1st Vice President, becomes President. Garry D. Howard becomes a Past President and, per APSE bylaws, remains a member of the Executive Committee.
Ahern is scheduled to become APSE President in June 2012.
As 3rd Vice President, Brigandi begins a two-year term and is charged specifically with representing the interests of newspapers with a circulation under 40,000. He replaces Toby Carrig of the Antelope Valley (Palmdale, Calif.) Press, whose term is expiring.
Below is each of the editor’s bios provided for the election:
Background: Began my career at the Stuart (Fla.) News and went on to editing positions at the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot, the (Chicago) Daily Southtown, the (Huntington, W.Va.) Herald-Dispatch, the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal, the Detroit News, the Orange County Register and the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press. I joined Yahoo! Sports in 2006 as college editor and was promoted to Assistant Managing Editor (in charge of investigations) the following year. My first sports editor’s job was in Huntington, where we chronicled Marshall’s rise to national prominence in college football behind Randy Moss. I spearheaded award-winning coverage of championship-contending teams in Lansing (Michigan State basketball), Detroit (Red Wings) and Orange County (Angels, Lakers and Ducks). All but the Wings came through with crowns. It hasn’t been all been fun and games. I was the point editor on two major investigative stories – the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case in Orange County and the Vikings "Love Boat" incident in St. Paul. At Yahoo! Sports, we’ve set the standard for investigative reporting across all disciplines and changed the way on-line sports journalism is viewed. Our coverage of improprieties in the USC football and men’s basketball programs and in the Connecticut men’s basketball program has earned APSE and national acclaim.
APSE experience: Past vice chairman of the Midwest and West regions. Speaker on numerous national convention panels and at multiple region meetings regarding coverage of college sports, working with writers and on-line journalism. Coordinated and executed judging of the first APSE Web site contest in 2009. Have served as an APSE contest judge for 10 years. Have been attending the national convention since 1996.
Objective: To give back to an organization that has been instrumental in the development of my career. I’ve benefitted from the guidance of the Bill Dwyres and Don Skwars, giants in our business who took the time to provide feedback to a young editor learning the ropes. I’m no giant, but I am now older, wiser and willing to work with all members to improve, progress and produce as sports journalists.
Quotable: "I am a newspaper man who has learned how to adapt to the changing landscape of multiple-platform, multi-media, 24-7 sports journalism. I care deeply about APSE and believe I am uniquely qualified to help members at papers and Web sites of all sizes continue to thrive and survive in the competitive marketplace."
Background: I started my newspaper career as sports editor at the Lock Haven (Pa.) Express, an afternoon daily in 1996 after graduating from Penn State earlier that summer. My background trained me toward a broadcast career, but I answered a classified ad for that sports editor’s job in another newspaper because it sounded like fun. It still is. I worked at The Express for 3 1/2 years until being asked to assume the sports editor spot a half hour up the road at the Sun-Gazette, where I’ve been for 10 years. Here I do everything from run the department to working the desk to reporting on some high school and major college sports. We also cover the Little League World Series, that youth baseball tournament that is far better in person than on TV.
APSE experience: Member since 2002 and have attended four conventions, a judging, and every Mid-Atlantic region meeting since 2004. Panelist at national conventions and regional meetings about small papers covering big events.
Objectives: Keeping the small papers from getting smaller. Seeing to it the $95 annual dues are still worth it, since many must pay our own way. Making sure smaller papers have the voice they need within the organization — adding the under 20K division in the contest was a good move. Helping us stay on top of every new online mechanism we can use, all while keeping the print edition strong. Getting all Little
League coaches to add up their scorebooks before calling in.
Quotable: You realize you’re doing more with less when you look around some nights and you’re the only one in the office. Fortunately, we have each other here with APSE.