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January 17, 2014 11:00 AM, EST
Abramson Departs as Publisher; Mason Takes Reins of TTPG

American Trucking Associations announced the departure of Howard Abramson as publisher and editorial director of Transport Topics Publishing Group and the appointment of Jeff Mason to head up the publishing unit.

ATA President Bill Graves said Mason will assume responsibility for Transport Topics “as a critical part of ATA’s communications effort.”

Mason, who joined the trucking industry trade association as senior vice president of communications in April, will lead the division and has asked Managing Editor Neil Abt to take on additional editorial responsibilities for the newspaper.

Mason worked previously at Randall-Reilly in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he was responsible for the trucking media division.

Abramson, a veteran transportation journalist, joined Transport Topics in 1998 as editor and was named publisher two years later. He worked previously for Bloomberg News, The Journal of Commerce, Traffic World and The Washington Post. He also co-founded States News Services in Washington, D.C., and has written two books.

“In his time at Transport Topics, Howard built the premier news organization in the trucking industry,” Graves said. “He was a respected newsman and a valuable member of the team at ATA, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Graves added, “I have faith that Transport Topics will uphold the tradition of excellence as a leader in covering the news of the day in the trucking industry.”

Abramson said he was “proud” of what he was able to accomplish at Transport Topics and is looking forward to doing something else in the transportation field.

“It was a terrific opportunity,” he said, reached at his home. “I’m not ready to hang up my spear. So you may see me around.”

Mason, who met with Transport Topics staff last week, said the change in leadership reflects a desire on the part of Graves and members of ATA’s senior leadership group to streamline operations and to encourage more collaboration among the staff of the newspaper, ATA staff and its affiliated conferences and councils.

Mason stressed that the newspaper’s editorial approach will not change. He pledged to continue efforts to develop online news and information services, and to create more events, such as the recent ATA Executive Summit on Technology-Driven Performance in Dallas and the 2012 Natural Gas in Trucking conference in Arlington, Va.

“We want to bring more re­sources to the paper and to develop more products and services around the Transport Topics brand,” Mason said.

During his tenure at Transport Topics, Abramson oversaw a major expansion of the weekly newspaper in terms of staff as well as coverage to include intermodal transportation and third-party logistics. He led the transition to digital publishing with the development of ttnews.com and launched the Transport Topics Top 100, an annual listing of the largest for-hire and private carriers in the United States and Canada.

Abramson started two editorial supplements, iTech and Equipment & Maintenance Update, for Transport Topics. He also merged sister publications Utility Fleet Management and Light & Medium Truck into a single monthly publication that will be rebranded in February as Truck Fleet Management magazine.