Ridder Becomes NAA Chair

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(AP) Calling on newspapers to make diversity an “urgent focus,” Tony Ridder launched his term as chairman of the Newspaper Association of America on Tuesday.

“Just look around this room, and you can see that we are not diverse enough,” said Ridder, addressing a luncheon crowd at the annual convention of the NAA. “For our future economic health, we must do this.”

Ridder, chairman and chief executive officer of Knight Ridder, made his remarks as he took over the chairmanship of the NAA from William Dean Singleton, vice chairman and chief executive officer of MediaNews Group Inc.

Ridder praised Singleton as a leader who “has been straight and clear with everyone about what newspapers stand for.”

Addressing Singleton, Ridder said, “Thank you very much for standing up for the ideals of a free and independent press, both here and around the world.”

Singleton delivered his farewell address to the convention Monday, saying the newspaper industry is “more vibrant, more vital, more forward thinking and offers more opportunity than I’ve seen at any time in my career.”

The nonprofit NAA represents more than 2,000 newspapers in the United States and Canada. The chairman serves a one-year term.

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