Two of the guiding organizations in sports media will combine to make history in 2012.
The Associated Press Sports Editors and the Association for Women in Sports Media will unite for a joint summer conference next June in Chicago.
AWSM President Amy Moritz is thrilled about the opportunity of aligning with APSE and the benefits it could bring to her organization.
I'm excited for the joint convention and I think it's a great partnership for 2012 for both our organizations,” Moritz said. “From AWSM's point of view, this assists us with sharing resources through a challenging economic time. It gives us a chance to showcase our organization and the talents of our members to a group which shares our passion for quality sports journalism and for giving our members access to speakers, workshops and other tools to help enhance their careers.”
Michael Anastasi, who takes over as APSE president this month, is eager to start the partnership and collaboration.
“It just made so much sense,” Anastasi said. “The things that we’re interested in by and large are the same.”
As a member of both organizations, Anastasi has been working on something that would bring both groups together.
“For the past couple of years a big part of the work that (current APSE president) Phil Kaplan and I have been doing is improving our working relationship with AWSM,” Anastasi said. “To that end, AWSM members are now a regular part of the APSE regional meetings and those members have significantly added to the quality of the program when they’re there.”
 Yahoo! Sports will serve as the primary sponsor of the 2012 Chicago conference. The program will be developed over the coming months by a committee including APSE and AWSM members.  Hotel details are still being worked out.
"Returning to Chicago, where we had the highest-attended conference in APSE history (2000) is sensational," APSE vice president Gerry Ahern said. " Adding AWSM makes things even better."
Although Moritz and AWSM membership have only voted for the conference as a joint venture in 2012, there is a possibility that Chicago could be the launching pad for future combined events.
“I think we have to see how its goes next year and how all the members feel about it and decide,” Anastasi said. “Maybe it will be like Unity which is every four years, or a one time thing. But I do think it’s important for each organization to keep their own identity as well.”
Carron J. Phillips is a 2011 Sports Journalism Institiute intern from Syracuse University. He will work this summer at the Salt Lake Tribune.