WASHINGTON (AP) _ Peter K. Bhatia, executive editor of The Oregonian, has been elected treasurer of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He is to take office in April and eventually move up to head the organization beginning in 2003.

Bhatia was elected to the board of the 850-member group in 1997. He was elected to the treasurer position on Monday.

Before joining The Oregonian in Portland, Bhatia was executive editor of The Fresno Bee in California, managing editor of The Sacramento Bee, editor of The York Dispatch in Pennsylvania, managing editor of The Dallas Times Herald and deputy managing editor of the San Francisco Examiner.

The American Society of Newspaper Editors was founded in 1922 and is the main organization of the directing editors of daily newspapers in the Americas.