Veteran journalists Wendy Benjaminson and Jeffrey C. Kummer have been named Texas news editors for The Associated Press. The appointments were announced Monday by Dallas Chief of Bureau Dale Leach.
Benjaminson, the AP’s correspondent in Houston, will be the news cooperative’s first Houston-based news editor. Kummer, now senior editor for investigations, government and specialty beats at the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, will be the Dallas-based news editor.
Benjaminson, 44, was named correspondent in charge of the AP’s seven-member Houston staff in February 2005.
She began her journalism career in 1984 at The Washington Times. She later worked as a reporter for United Press International and Market News Service before joining the AP’s Washington, D.C., bureau in 1990 as night political editor.
Benjaminson worked briefly in the AP’s Houston bureau before joining the former Houston Post in 1992 as assistant city editor. She moved to the Houston Chronicle a year later and served in various roles, including assistant state editor, politics editor, metropolitan editor and assistant managing editor in charge of the Sunday newspaper and special projects.
She is a graduate of the University of Maryland.
Kummer, 53, began his career in 1973 as an intern for the LaCrosse (Wis.) Tribune. He then worked for newspapers in Muscatine and Davenport, Iowa, before joining the Pioneer Press in 1977.
He was named to the newspaper’s first-ever investigative team in 1982 and joined the editing ranks in 1993. He served in several editing roles before becoming a senior editor in 2001. Kummer was one of three editors and five reporters who worked on a series of stories about academic fraud at the University of Minnesota that won the Pioneer Press a Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting in 2000.
He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.
Kummer and Benjaminson replace Michelle Williams, who has been promoted to assistant chief of bureau for Texas.
As news editors, Benjaminson and Kummer will share primary oversight of Texas’ AP news report – a job that has historically been held by a single person. Having two news editors will allow for better beat- and issue-driven coverage by the Texas AP’s 47-member editorial staff, Leach said.