Top NAA Diversity Official To Retire Next Year

By: Joe Strupp

Two top executives of the Newspaper Association of America, including the woman who spearheaded the group’s ongoing diversity efforts in newsrooms, will retire early next year, NAA officials said Friday.

Toni F. Laws, senior vice president for diversity and the NAA Foundation, and David S. Brown, senior vice president for public policy and general counsel, both plan to step down in early 2003.

“Both of these talented professionals have contributed significantly to the newspaper industry as a whole and to the management of [NAA] on a day-to-day basis,” said John F. Sturm, NAA president and CEO.

Laws, who joined NAA in 1992, launched the group’s diversity department and, over the next 10 years, created several initiatives aimed at improving newsroom minority representation that continue today. Brown came to the organization in 1996 and has been responsible for leading the NAA’s legal challenges on issues ranging from First Amendment rights to postal and taxation issues.

Sturm would not comment on replacements for Laws and Brown, but said an announcement on the future of their positions would be made Monday.

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