AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   March 2003

End of an Era   

Louis D. Boccardi says he will retire later this year, after 18 years as president and CEO of the Associated Press.

By Kathryn S. Wenner
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at the Washington Post.     

No sooner has the Associated Press' board of directors announced that President and CEO Louis D. Boccardi will retire later this year than the man widely seen as his hand-picked successor, Jonathan P. Wolman, sends a memo to colleagues saying he will not seek the job. Wolman, who did not return AJR's phone calls, reportedly cited a desire to focus on the editorial side. During Boccardi's 18 years in the top position, the not-for-profit AP launched a business division that offers an advertising delivery service and has helped increase annual budgeted revenues from $200 million to more than $500 million. He also oversaw dramatic technological developments in everything from photography to broadcast news production and the creation of the video news service APTN. Boccardi, who turns 66 in August and spent 36 years at the AP, says, "I hope the verdict on my time will be something like that I led AP through really massive change in almost every aspect of what we do, and yet, at the end of my day, we've kept the faith with journalistic values."