AP Names Jane Seagrave Chief Revenue Officer

The Associated Press announced today that Tom Brettington, chief revenue officer, will be retiring on March 1 after two years in the position. Senior vice president Jane Seagrave will be taking his position after the mid-year departure, though Brettington will still assist the company in digital marketing, the company said.

Seagrave began at the AP 31 years ago as a journalist, but left the company for a role as vice president at Lawyers Weekly Publications, rejoining the news wire in 2003. She also has unique qualifications for her new position: Seagrave ran the AP’s digital licensing operation for commercial image use and directed teams on those contracts the company has been negotiating with online aggregators.

So all those recent stories about the AP going after everyone from Banksy to Google News may be attributed to Seagrave’s part in the company’s stricter licensing policies.

Press release after the jump.

Previously: Google Pulls AP Stories From News Page

Jane Seagrave to become AP Chief Revenue Officer

NEW YORK – The Associated Press today named Senior Vice President Jane Seagrave its new Chief Revenue Officer.

Seagrave, who was head of global product development for AP, succeeds Tom Brettingen, effective March 1. Brettingen will be retiring at midyear.

“Jane understands the changing needs of news consumers and how to create products that help them get news where and when they want it,” said Tom Curley, president and CEO. “Jane’s success in creating new media products and her background as a journalist are the right fit to help AP seize today’s opportunities.”

It was under Seagrave three years ago that AP launched its acclaimed mobile news product for smart phones, which brings together news from AP and more than 1,000 member newspapers and broadcasters. More than 3 million people have downloaded AP Mobile to their smart phones.

Seagrave also oversaw development of AP Financial News, the elections product Campaign Plus and various online video products for international markets. As head of global product development, she has overseen the growth of AP’s content verticals, in sports, entertainment and business, as well as AP’s commercial images service, AP Images. Before becoming head of product development, Seagrave ran AP’s digital licensing operation and led the team responsible for negotiating AP’s contracts with portals and aggregators.

Seagrave first joined AP in 1980 as a journalist, with assignments in Santa Fe, N.M., Grants Pass, Ore., and Boston. She later served as a vice president for Lawyers Weekly Publications, in Boston, president and chief operating officer of Legal Communications, Ltd., a Philadelphia-based legal publisher, and chief executive officer of localbusiness.com, a national news service reporting on business technology. She rejoined AP in 2003 after working as chief online strategy consultant for American Lawyer Media.

Seagrave holds a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and is a graduate of Bowdoin College.

Brettingen will continue to assist AP in its relationships with international news agencies on the roll-out of mobile and other digital products. Prior to becoming chief revenue officer and senior vice president for sales and marketing, in 2008, Brettingen was senior vice president for AP Global Newspaper Markets, responsible for AP’s business relationships with newspapers and news agencies.

“Tom has demonstrated extraordinary understanding of agency operations and their services to newspapers and broadcasters worldwide,” said Curley. “We are pleased that he has agreed to help us keep important projects moving forward during the transition.”

Brettingen joined AP in 1970 as a newsman in Sioux Falls, S.D., and also worked as news editor in Minneapolis, bureau chief in Miami and deputy sports editor in New York and as an executive in AP’s newspaper membership, before leaving to work for Milwaukee-based ARI Network Services, Inc. He rejoined AP in 1994 and was later named head director of Business Development.

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