Greg Erlandson, former president and director of Our Sunday Visitor (OSV), has been appointed director and editor-in-chief of Catholic News Service (CNS). The appointment will be effective from 12 September. Announcing the news on Wednesday, 20 July, Msgr J. Brian Bransfield, General Secretary of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said in a statement that Greg brings “a remarkable combination of management expertise, journalism skills and demonstrated service to the Church at the national and international level”.
Msgr Bransfield is certain, therefore, that Erlandson will prove to be “an important resource” for “clients of CNS”. Married to Corine Bischetti and father of four children, the 65-year-old Erlandson has left OSV in Huntington, Indiana, after working there for about 27 years. He served as editor of OSV from 1989 until being promoted to editor-in-chief in 1992, and to president and publisher in 2000. Erlandson said that Catholic News Service is a “gift” of the Church in the United States to the rest of the Catholic world. Therefore it is an honour, he stated, “to follow in the footsteps of so many great directors”.
For many years, recalled Erlandson, “Catholic News Service” has been the “backbone” of the Catholic press, as it has “enabled diocesan media to have a dependable source of national and international news”, as well as distinguished “columnists and great features”. At the same time, the new director highlighted, CNS has provided “timely and trustworthy reporting to a wide variety of Catholic publications and organizations as well as to bishops and communicators around the world”. Erlandson worked for CNS from 1986 to 1989: after a brief period working at the Washington office, he transferred to the Rome office, before becoming editor of OSV. So, Erlandson said, recalling his time working for CNS in Rome, “I expect to feel a little deja vu”,
“My years in Italy”, said the new director, “changed the way I viewed both my Church and my country, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity Richard Daw (then CNS editor-in-chief) made available to me”. Erlandson has always felt part of the CNS family, as he was constantly in contact with colleagues in Washington, and visited the Roman office whenever he was in the city.
Erlandson — who succeeds Tony Spence, who resigned last April after 12 years as editor-in-chief — studied journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism of the University of California at Berkeley. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Literature from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He also served as editor at the National Catholic Register. Over the years Erlandson has played an increasingly active role in the Catholic press. He was president of the “Catholic Press Association” in the United States and Canada from 2011 to 2013. He was appointed twice as a consultant to the USCCB’s Committee on Communications, and has also been a consultant to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
He was therefore a member of the Committee on the reform of Vatican communications chaired by Lord Patten, which led to the creation of the Secretariat for Communications. In June, Erlandson received the “Bishop John England Award” during the Catholic Media Conference in St Louis. Last February, he was invested with a title from the “Association of Catholic Publishers Hall of Fame” and in 2015 he received the prestigious St. Francis de Sales Award. L’Osservatore Romano cordially extends its best wishes to the new director.
St. Peter’s Square
Sept. 21, 2019
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