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Sept. 21, 2015, 2:46 p.m.
LINK: inn.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Joseph Lichterman   |   September 21, 2015

The Institute for Nonprofit News named former Associated Press senior vice president Sue Cross as its new executive director and CEO on Monday.

Cross replaces interim CEO Denise Malan, who has served in the role since April when INN split with Kevin Davis, its former CEO. Cross will be based in Los Angeles, and Malan will remain with INN “in a key role advancing data and technology programs,” the organization said.

“Nonprofit news organizations in the INN network fill a growing need across the country for public-service investigative, community and specialized journalism,” Cross said in a statement. “These are nimble, skilled newsrooms that have impact far above their numbers. It’s an honor to join INN and support them in producing quality news serving millions of readers, listeners and viewers.”

Davis’ departure in April was abrupt and caught many of INN’s members off-guard. At the time, Brant Houston, chair of INN’s board of directors and the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois, said “there was definitely a difference in the sense of direction” between Davis and the INN board.

Though Houston wouldn’t go into specifics, he said at the time that the board wanted INN to focus on business education programs, advancing the philanthropic case for nonprofit news organizations, and to focus on projects that INN was already developing. Davis, meanwhile, said he wanted to develop systems to help nonprofit outlets to become less dependent on grant funding.

“I think the board was trying to dictate the size and shape of the organization moving forward in a way that was, perhaps, independent from the sustainability plan which I had developed, which was focused on building a consulting practice and delivering paid services to individual organizations based on our expertise,” Davis said at the time.

Since leaving the AP in 2014, Cross has run her own communications firm. At the AP, as senior vice president, she was responsible for strategic partnerships in the Americas, according to INN’s release. Cross was also previously a finalist to become the director of University of Southern California Annenberg School of Journalism.

INN, which was formerly known as the Investigative News Network, has more than 100 member organizations across the United States.

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