Kennedy, 40, succeeds Michael Kuchwara, 63, who died May 22 of lung disease.
AP entertainment editor Alicia Quarles announced Kennedy's appointment on Aug. 19. Kennedy's title is theatre and pop culture writer. He previously worked for The Associated Press for 13 years, and now rejoins the news agency.
Throughout his years at the AP, Kennedy was a regular contributor to the entertainment desk. "He wrote compelling, revealing features on high-profile artists and forward-thinking articles on theatre, music, film, books and more," according to the AP announcement.
Since March 2010, Kennedy has been an editor at AOL News in New York. Kennedy's AP duties will be writing theatre features and reviews, and contributing "to other aspects of entertainment including music, film and industry trends."
Kennedy was an editor on the AP's national and supervisory desks, helping cover such major events as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. He reported from Kabul in 2003 and "helped anchor coverage from Los Angeles in the aftermath of Michael Jackson's death." Kennedy has a master's degree from Harvard University and received his bachelor's from Brown University.