Newseum Announces Promotions, New Hires

From the release:

    The Newseum Tuesday announced the appointments of three vice presidents and the hiring of a business manager and facilities manager as the Newseum prepares for its 2007 opening on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

    Charles L. Overby, chairman and CEO of the Freedom Forum and Newseum, said three Newseum directors were promoted to vice presidents:

  • Susan Bennett was named vice president of marketing for both the Newseum and the Freedom Forum. She also will be a deputy director of the Newseum.

  • Paul Sparrow was named vice president of Newseum broadcasting and programs.

  • James Thompson was named vice president of Newseum operations and deputy director of the Newseum.

    In addition, Jack Hurley, senior vice president/broadcasting, was named a Newseum deputy director.

    The foundation also announced the hiring of Leslie Smith as Newseum business manager and Cory Leckey as Newseum facilities manager.

    Bennett, Sparrow, Thompson and Leckey begin their new positions immediately. Smith will begin in October.

The rest of the release when you click below…


    “Since 2001, we’ve selected a great location, designed and built a magnificent building, developed one-of-a-kind museum galleries and experiences on the history of news and the critical role a free press plays in all our lives,” Overby said. “Today, by naming these talented individuals to these key roles, we’re taking one more important step in creating an incredible visitor experience.”

    Bennett is a veteran newspaper editor and reporter who spent 24 years covering foreign affairs, national politics and Congress. She came to the Freedom Forum in 1999 from USA TODAY, where she was an editorial page editor and writer. Bennett previously had worked as a national and diplomatic correspondent for Knight Ridder newspapers and had been a state editor and bureau chief for United Press International. At the Freedom Forum, she previously worked as communications director and as director of Asian and European programs for the foundation and as the project manager for development of content for the new Newseum.

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    In her new role, Bennett will be responsible for the marketing and communications efforts of the Newseum and the Freedom Forum, as well as the management of the museum’s collections, artifacts and visual resources departments.

    Sparrow is an Emmy Award-winning television producer with more than a quarter century of broadcasting experience. He has produced more than 300 hours of prime-time programming, hundreds of syndicated shows, 10 documentaries and several prime-time specials. His career tracks from KPIX — the CBS affiliate in San Francisco — to “USA TODAY on TV,” “America’s Most Wanted,” the Learning Channel and the Discovery Channel. He joined the Newseum in 1999 as director and executive producer of Newseum productions.

    Sparrow will continue to lead a Newseum productions team that has received numerous national awards, including a national Emmy nomination, and two New York Film Festival Grand Prizes. Currently, his staff is developing content for more than 100 video productions and nearly two dozen interactive programs for the new Newseum. He also will oversee the Newseum’s programs department.

    Before joining the Newseum in 1996, Thompson spent four years at the National Gallery of Art, where he managed the daily operations of a 300-person security force responsible for protecting priceless and irreplaceable works of art. He previously spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, where he was superintendent of presidential aircraft security, managing a 162-person security force responsible for protecting Air Force One and other presidential fleet aircraft.

    As vice president/Newseum operations, Thompson will oversee visitor services, operations and security for the 250,000-square-foot museum of news.

    Leslie Smith has spent the past decade working in historic preservation, cultural/heritage tourism development and marketing and financial analysis for non-profit and for-profit attractions. She has worked with a diverse collection of organizations including Smithsonian Business Ventures; Carnegie Science Center; Cleveland Museum of Art; B.B. King Foundation; and the Just Born Candy Company, makers of Marshmallow Peeps.

    As Newseum business manager, Smith will be responsible for development of Newseum budgets, business plans and revenue projections; will oversee relationship management of the Newseum’s partnerships, including “The Source by Wolfgang Puck” restaurant; food court and catering services, handled jointly by Wolfgang Puck Catering and Restaurant Associates; the Newseum Store, managed by Event Network; and the Newseum Residences, managed by Bozzuto Management Co..

    Cory Leckey brings nearly three decades of property/facilities management to his new role as Newseum facilities manager. From 1977 to mid-2005, he held a series of positions with Westfield Realty and was responsible for overall operations of buildings and retail space at a number of Westfield properties, including the original Newseum in Arlington, Va. More recently, Leckey was senior property manager with Monday Properties in Arlington, where he managed 1.2 million square feet of Class A commercial office and retail space.

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    At the Newseum, Leckey will assume responsibility for the function of building systems; oversee contractors for outsourced services; prepare and administer the facilities budget; supervise support staff; and oversee building/construction projects.

    About the Newseum

    When it opens in 2007, the Newseum — a 250,000-square-foot museum of news — will offer visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.

    The Newseum will be located at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., on America’s Main Street between the White House and the U.S. Capitol and adjacent to the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall. The exterior’s unique architectural features include a 74-foot-high marble engraving of the First Amendment and an immense front wall of glass through which passers-by will be able to watch the museum fulfilling its mission of providing a forum where the media and the public can gain a better understanding of each other.

    The Newseum will feature seven levels of galleries, theaters, retail spaces and visitor services. It will offer a unique environment that takes museum-goers behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made.

    The Newseum’s operations are funded by the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people.

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