WASHINGTON (December 8, 2003) -- Mr. Anthony J. Spence has been appointed director and editor in chief of the Catholic News Service (CNS).
The appointment was announced today by Monsignor William P. Fay, general secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Mr. Spence is currently executive director of Advancement Communications at Vanderbilt University, Nashville.
Before going to Vanderbilt, Mr. Spence was editor in chief and general manager at the Tennessee Register, Inc., which publishes the Tennessee Register, newspaper of the Diocese of Nashville, from 1989 to 1998. Previous to that he served as associate and managing editor there. He also served as the diocese's communications director from 1992 to 1998.
Mr. Spence served as president of the Catholic Press Association, 1994-1996, and on the association's liaison committee with CNS which he chaired 1997-1998. He also chaired the association's 1998 annual convention. From 1995 to 2000, he served as a council member of the Union Catholique Internationale de la Press (UCIP), the international association of Catholic journalists.
Mr. Spence has served as a member of the Committee for Communications of the former United States Catholic Conference. He served on this Committee's Subcommittee for Planning which devised the Strategic Plan for Conference Communications adopted by the Conference in 1997. He also served on the Advisory Board of the Catholic Communication Campaign.
At Vanderbilt, Mr. Spence has overseen the publication of more than a dozen magazines and newsletters for schools, various institutes, and offices of the university. He oversaw the redesign and refocusing of Vanderbilt Magazine, increasing circulation from 30,000 to 110,000. He also has overseen a vast array of web-based services.
In announcing the appointment, Monsignor Fay said, "We look forward to having Mr. Spence with the Conference. There is no more important Catholic communications outlet than the Catholic News Service. I have no doubt, as he assumes its leadership, that he will ably build on the success of his predecessors who have made it such an outstanding professional contribution to the Church's life."
Mr. Spence succeeds Thomas N. Lorsung who is retiring. Mr. Lorsung has been with the news service since 1972 and director and editor in chief since 1989.
Mr. Spence's appointment to CNS takes effect February 1, 2004.