Associated Press national political editor Liz Sidoti is leaving the news organization to become US head of communications for BP, according to a memo obtained by The Huffington Post.
Given that the AP covers BP, Sidoti will no longer be involved in an reporting, editing or news management, the memo stated.
"I am grateful for all of the opportunities the AP has generously given me over nearly 15 years," Sidoti said in a statement to HuffPost. "The AP has not just been my employer, but it's also been a home. And my colleagues, a family. I will always look back fondly -- and with pride -- at my time with the AP, and will always be thankful for having been able to be a part of this extraordinary, necessary institution filled with the industry's most dedicated journalists."
In a email sent to family and friends, Sidoti said she had "been looking for a new challenge" and the BP job was "too great of an opportunity to pass up."
"I'll be joining an international company in the midst of a turnaround, one with both real challenges and real opportunities," Sidoti wrote. "I'll have my own large portfolio, managing a great group of professionals in the press shop, internal communications, speech writing and social/digital media sectors. And I'll get the opportunity to tell BP's story of how they are more safely providing a necessary resource for a world that depends on driving, light and heat."
At BP, Sidoti will work under Geoff Morrell, a former ABC News correspondent who was promoted in September to become BP's senior vice president of communications and external affairs.
BP, which faced intense media scrutiny following the 2010 Gulf oil spill, has been trying to improve its public image. In November, BP launched "The State of the Gulf," a site to "set the record straight" about the company.
Washington bureau chief Sally Buzbee notified staff Monday that Sidoti would be leaving. The memo is below:
I wanted to let you know that Liz Sidoti is resigning from the AP to take a job as US Head of Communications for BP based in Washington.
Liz has told us she's interested in taking on a new challenge and developing business skills after 15 years as a reporter and editor with the AP.
Because her new employer is someone AP covers, she will no longer be involved in any reporting, editing or news management for AP, effective immediately.
Liz began with the AP in Cincinnati as a relief staffer in 1999 and it wasn't long before she was knocking on the door for a job in Washington. She later became AP's national political correspondent, and from that, she took on the role of national political editor in early 2011.
Liz did a great job putting together a strong political team for AP before the 2012 elections, recruiting talented reporters out in the field to join Washington reporters in covering the race.
Please join me in wishing her all the best in her new adventure.
This post was updated with a response from Sidoti and details of email sent to family and friends .
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