The Associated Press has appointed Lauren McCullough (pictured, left) to lead its social networking functions, including helping reporters tap online communities and promoting AP stories across the blogosphere. Specifically, McCullough, 27, is being promoted to manager of Social Networks and News Engagement at the AP Nerve Center, the AP said in a news item. The AP’s elevation of McCullough comes a day after two other promotions: Middle East editor Sally Buzbee, who will build out and manage the News Center; and Tamer Fakahany, formerly the M.E. for production at the AP’s TV News unit, and is now Buzbee’s number two (AP has more details here).
The personnel moves follow the AP’s recent layoffs. The changes primarily reflect the general importance of social media for news distribution as well as the new regional management structure the AP has established, a rep told paidContent. In this case, McCullough will manage the Social Network Center, one of four units at the new headquarters’ hub in New York. The other three components are standards, production, and the news center.
McCullough has been with the AP for nearly four years, and has been credited with setting up the AP’s partnership with NowPublic two years ago. Before joining AP, McCullough was an assistant news manager with Newsday.com.