As president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press, Thomas Curley '77 (MBA) leads the world's largest news organization. Curley is the 12th person to head the AP since its founding in 1848.
Curley, a member of the RIT Board of Trustees, was president and publisher of USA Today, the nation's largest-selling daily newspaper, from 1991 until accepting the AP job in 2003. He also worked as a senior vice president of the USA Today's parent company, Gannett Co., Inc., publisher of 100 daily newspapers in the United States.
Curley was assigned in 1979 by former Gannett Chairman Al Neuharth to study the feasibility of a national newspaper. He later worked in every department of the USA Today, and circulation under Curley grew to more than 2.3 million copies a day.
As head of AP, Curley presides over a venerable news cooperative that is the backbone of the world's information system. AP has 242 bureaus and a budgeted revenue of more than $500 million. It serves virtually all of the daily newspapers in the United States as well as 5,000 radio and television outlets, plus thousands more in some 120 nations overseas.
AP assets include Associated Press Television News (APTN), an international video news service headquartered in London, a broadcast division headquartered in Washington, a multimedia Internet operation run by its digital division, and award-winning news and photo operations that have won 47 Pulitzer prizes.
Curley began his journalism career at age 15 covering high school basketball for his hometown Easton (Pa.) Express. He continued working for newspapers during college, and joined Gannett's Rochester (N.Y.) Times-Union in 1972 as night city/suburban editor. He became director of information for Gannett in 1976.
He became editor of Gannett's Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin in 1982 and publisher of The Courier-News at Bridgewater, N.J., in 1983, returning to USA Today in 1985. He holds a political science degree from Philadelphia's La Salle University and a master's degree in business administration from RIT. He is a vice chairman of the boards at both schools.
Curley is also a trustee of the Ronald McDonald House Charities, serves on the executive board of the newspaper Ad Council and is the former chairman of the American Advertising Federation's Advertising Hall of Fame. He is married to Marsha Stanley, a former newspaper reporter and freelance writer. They have two daughters.
The Associated Press (www.ap.org) is the world's oldest and largest news organization, providing coverage of news, sports, business, weather, entertainment, politics and technology in text, audio, video, graphics and photos to 15,000 news outlets with a daily reach of more than one billion people around the world. Its services are distributed by satellite and the Internet to more than 120 nations. AP also is a leader in developing and marketing newsroom technology.
A shorter version of this story appeared in The University Magazine, Fall 2003