The Associated Press has named two veteran editors to leadership positions in a new regional editing operation for the Eastern United States.
Larry Rosenthal, news editor for the AP in Philadelphia, has been promoted to the new position of East editor. David Meeks, former city editor of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, started Nov. 3 in the new position of assistant sports editor for the East region.
The appointments were announced Friday by Michael Oreskes, AP’s managing editor for U.S. news.
Both will be based in Philadelphia, home of the newly created East desk, the second of four planned regional desks. The South desk opened in Atlanta in April, and desks will open next year in Chicago for the Central and in Phoenix for the West.
Rosenthal will lead AP’s news coverage in a 10-state territory, from Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey north to Maine. Meeks will direct sports writers across the region.
“The new East editing operation will allow us to focus our efforts on our most vital missions ? sharpening our coverage of the Eastern states and raising the level of journalism we send to the rest of the country and the world,” Oreskes said.
Rosenthal joined the AP in Baltimore in 1981. He transferred to Connecticut in 1988, where he was New Haven correspondent and then news editor in Hartford.
He spent more than five years at the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J., where his last post was assistant managing editor-news, before returning to the AP in 2004 as editor of the Pennsylvania bureau.
As Pennsylvania editor, he oversaw a series of government accountability projects that detailed problems with public pension plans, a state incentive program for companies moving to the state, the operation of county jails and the state constable system.
He also oversaw a large-scale statewide audit of government compliance with the state right-to-know law in which 52 other news outlets participated. He also directed two weeks of coverage of the 2006 Amish schoolhouse massacre.
Meeks was working as sports editor at the Times-Picayune in August 2005 when the newspaper was forced to evacuate in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
He assembled a makeshift reporting team to remain in the devastated city and led the paper’s newsgathering there for six weeks, coverage that won Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news and public service. When the newspaper returned to the city from Baton Rouge, Meeks was named city editor.
As sports editor, Meeks edited investigative projects on how some NFL teams helped move Super Bowl tickets to scalpers’ markets and another on how an internal league loan program greatly reduced teams’ net costs in building new stadiums billed as public-private partnerships.
He also edited a three-part narrative series on how football had changed private schools known as the South’s “segregation academies.” The project was the newspaper’s first finalist in the American Society of Newspaper Editors contest.
Rosenthal, 54, is a native of Waterville, Maine, and a graduate of Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y. He worked at the Central Maine Morning Sentinel before going to work for the AP.
Meeks, 45, is a native of Huntsville, Ala., who grew up in Troy, Mich. and graduated from the University of Michigan.
He had a brief career as a radio disc jockey before starting his reporting career at small newspapers and The Birmingham News in Alabama. He also worked as a features columnist at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and in New Orleans previously served as a bureau chief and suburban editor.