Former AP writer had been editor at AOL News

Mark Kennedy has been named the new theater writer at the Associated Press — ending months of speculation in the legit community regarding who would fill the post.

The AP’s theater writer is considered among the most prominent legit journos in the country, with the scribe’s copy printed in papers around the world. The position has recently gained an even heftier national profile thanks to a turbulent journalism landscape that has seen many papers cut their own culture writers and replace their arts coverage with stories from wire services, particularly the AP.

Although Kennedy comes to the post from an editor gig at AOL News, the writer had worked for 13 years at the AP, where he covered 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s death. During his tenure he also regularly wrote features for the entertainment desk.

In his new position, Kennedy will write about pop culture — including music, film and the entertainment industry — as well as penning legit features and reviews.

Kennedy replaces Michael Kuchwara, the well-liked writer who had been in the job for 25 years until his death in May.

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