NEW YORK (AP) _ Larry Ryckman, a supervisor at the national news desk of The Associated Press, has been promoted to assistant managing editor to direct and coordinate a new western regional service.

Ryckman, who began his news career in Nevada and also worked in California and Washington, will work with AP bureaus in 13 western states to develop news stories and features with a regional perspective. He will be based in Denver.

The appointment was announced Thursday by Managing Editor Darrell Christian.

The regional service will debut early this summer and will be provided to all AP members in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. In addition to AP staff stories, it will include stories and photos contributed by AP member newspapers in the region.

Ryckman, 35, returned to New York in 1995 after nearly four years in the news service's Moscow bureau. He previously was an editor at the AP's national and international desks in New York; he also worked in Seattle, San Francisco and Reno and Carson City, Nev.

A native of Las Vegas, he is a graduate of the University of Nevada-Reno and worked for the Valley Times in North Las Vegas, Nev., before joining the AP at Carson City in 1981.