Associated Press Names First Woman VP

By: Joe Strupp

For the first time in its 153-year history, The Associated Press has a woman vice president.

Kelly Smith Tunney, who joined the New York-based news cooperative in 1962 and spent the last two years as director of corporate communications, recently added the title of vice president.

“I think it’s great for women,” said Smith Tunney, 61, who becomes one of 11 vice presidents at the worldwide news organization. “Diversity is wonderful for any company.”

Smith Tunney was promoted along with Tom Brettingen, 53, who is now a vice president as well as director of business development.

The appointments were made at the AP board’s winter meeting in New York on Jan. 17.

AP President and CEO Louis D. Boccardi said: “Kelly and Tom have had distinguished AP careers and fully earned this recognition.”

In 1967, Tunney was a war correspondent in Vietnam, the first woman AP sent into a war zone since World War II. She was appointed director of media relations in New York in 1981 and later that year was named assistant personnel manager. In 1983, she was named director of corporate communications, and in 1984 she became an assistant general manager. From 1989 to 1995, she was chief of bureau in Seoul, South Korea, before returning to New York.

Brettingen was named director of business development in 1996. He is responsible for AP Information Services division, AP’s advertising services (AdSend and AdVantage), AP Telecommunications, the AP Photo Archive, and Wide World Photos, and other new business opportunities.

In 1994, Brettingen was appointed executive director of AP AdSEND, the cooperative’s ad delivery business, and in 1995 he became deputy director of Business Development. Before that, he served seven years as vice president of business information services for ARI Network Services Inc., a Milwaukee-based electronic commerce company.

Brettingen was general executive in AP’s newspaper membership department from 1982 until his departure in 1986. He served from 1977 to 1982 as chief of bureau in Miami.

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