OLD Media Moves

Watson named SABEW executive director

August 14, 2009


The Society of American Business Editors and Writers has named veteran journalist and media industry leader Warren Watson as its executive director.Â

Watson has been the director of J-Ideas, a journalism non-profit serving high-schoolers across the nation, since July of 2004. J-Ideas is based at Ball State University.

Watson was chosen through a national search committee process led by Josh Mills, a former SABEW governor who teaches business journalism at the City University of New York’s Baruch College.

He was at the American Press Institute from 1998 to 2004, the last four years as a vice president and acting co-president. While there, he worked on the grant that established the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and organized and directed the institute’s annual business journalism seminars.

He succeeds Dave Beal, who has been SABEW’s interim executive director since last fall.

Watson was president of the Society of News Design in 2003 and editor of The American Editor, the magazine of the American Society of News Editors, in 2005-06. He has more than 25 years of experience at daily newspapers, mostly as an editor.

At Ball State, Watson raised more than $1.2 million for J-Ideas, mostly from private foundations.

“SABEW is very fortunate to have recruited such an outstanding journalist and leader to help us grow the organization and support business journalism,” said SABEW President Greg McCune, training editor for Thomson Reuters. “Warren has a proven track record of developing programs that make a difference and managing them well. I see an exciting future for SABEW under his steady guidance.”

The 45-year-old society is the nation’s largest organization of business and financial journalists, with more than 3,000 members. As executive director, Watson will work closely with McCune and SABEW’s board to expand training, grow membership, keep the society’s website current, stay abreast of the changes sweeping through journalism and represent SABEW to other journalism organizations, newsrooms and the larger world.

Watson will move to Phoenix to oversee the society from its new headquarters at Arizona State University. SABEW is planning to move there this fall, to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism from the University of Missouri Journalism School, where it has been based since 1984.

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