Oil Spill Over? Not for the AP, With Three New Appointments

By: E&P Staff

While many media outlets have moved on from the Gulf oil spill as a major story, The Associated Press is staying on to follow the fallout from the largest such disaster in U.S. history. The AP has appointed Harry Weber, Brian Skoloff and Pat Semansky to three new positions covering the spill and its aftermath.

According to a staff memo sent Monday morning by Oil Spill Editor Steve Gutkin and Director of Photography Santiago Lyon, Skoloff will take on the role of Gulf spill impact reporter, focusing on the effect of the spill on the unique culture and economy of the Gulf coast and the disruption of energy sources, tourism and fishing in the area.

Weber has been named Gulf oil industry reporter, concentrating on the oil industry and offshore drilling, as well as the long-term implications for BP and the energy industry.

Semansky is joining the AP as a Gulf spill photographer, chronicling the communities and landscapes affected by the disaster. 

All three have made major contributions to AP’s coverage of the oil spill in the last several months.
Weber has been with the AP for 10 years and has served as a business writer, and also has covered plane crashes, airline bankruptcies, telecom mergers, secret thefts in the beverage trade, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the sentencing of serial bomber Eric Rudolph and the death of soul singer James Brown. Before joining AP, he was a general assignment reporter at The Enterprise in Brockton, Mass., and a reporter for three years at The MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass.
Skoloff has been an AP correspondent in West Palm Beach, Fla., since 2006. He joined the AP in Little Rock in 2000, covering Arkansas state politics and general assignment news. Named Fresno correspondent in 2003, he led coverage of the Scott Peterson murder trial, then spent a year as the day supervisor in San Francisco. He has earned several honors for his work, including the John L. Dougherty Award for excellent early-career journalists.   
Semansky most recently has been a key part of AP’s photographic coverage of the spill, filing images from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

“The AP news leadership has recognized since the magnitude of the oil spill became clear that we would be covering the gusher, the recovery and the long-term impact for a long time to come,” Paul Colford, the AP’s director of media relations, said in a statement. “These latest appointments reflect AP’s deep commitment to the oil spill story throughout the Gulf region.”

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