Long-time Belo executive Burl Osborne dies

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Associated Press & WFAA

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 9:16 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Burl Osborne, long-time executive at Belo Corp. and former chairman of the board of The Associated Press, has died, according to his wife, Betty.

He worked for 25 years at Belo, serving as editor and publisher of the Dallas Morning News, president of Belo's publishing division, and as a member of its board. He retired as publisher emeritus of the Morning News in 2007.

"Burl Osborne was one of the finest journalists of his generation, in this country and worldwide," said Robert Decherd, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of A.H. Belo Corporation. "He reinvigorated The Dallas Morning News as its executive editor in the early 1980s and as publisher,  Burl charted The News' emergence as one of America's truly distinguished newspapers. As chairman of The Associated Press beginning in 2002, Burl led the AP's transition to becoming one of the world's most influential Internet media organizations. Most importantly, Burl was a person of unquestioned integrity whose determination and personal strength set the standard for colleagues and friends throughout his life."

Osborne, who was 75, died Wednesday at a Dallas hospital after a sudden illness, his wife said. Osborne, who lived in Dallas, was a member of the AP board for 14 years, the last five as chairman, from 2002 to 2007.

Before joining Belo, Osborne worked for the AP for two decades, starting as a correspondent in Bluefield, W.Va., and rising eventually to managing editor, a post he held from 1977 to 1980.

In addition to his wife, Osborne is survived by a son, Jonathan Osborne, of Austin, Texas, and a grandson, Harry.

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