by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
associated press, customers

associated press, tribune company

Tribune Company The Latest (And Biggest) In A Growing List To Drop Associated Press

from the ouch dept

While the Associated Press was wasting time stupidly threatening to sue bloggers for pointing people to AP stories without paying, perhaps the folks there should have been paying a bit more attention to actually making sure its business model worked. As we've been noting, over the past few years, its strategy has put it in pretty much direct competition with its members (the AP is made up of numerous member newspapers).

That's creating problems, as we've seen a variety of newspapers have recently been refusing to renew their contracts, notifying the AP that they don't want to participate anymore. There have been some notable names, from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, but none of the "major" newspaper companies had bailed... until now. The Tribune Company, publishers of the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, the Baltimore Sun and others has surprised many by telling the AP it's not renewing. That could be the big domino, as many other newspapers may follow suit. The article here notes even that some newspapers have been experimenting with picking days when they try to publish without a single AP story to see how it goes.

What's amazing is that, so far, it doesn't seem like the Associated Press recognizes that there's a real problem. They simply seem to shrug off each defection. At some point, the AP needs to realize that it needs to change, rather drastically, if it's going to survive. While the AP isn't like an ordinary company -- it's a non-profit cooperative made up of member news organizations -- that doesn't mean it doesn't need to have a working business model. Without that, and with big members dropping like flies, it won't be able to exist at all.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Erv Server, Oct 17th, 2008 @ 2:37pm

    You can be assured if Obama is elected he will give a bailout check to Associated obama Press

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Petréa Mitchell, Oct 17th, 2008 @ 3:06pm

    The current one seems to work

    Further down, the story says newspapers are starting to opt out of the AP not because the existing model is broken, but becasue a change in the model is coming up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Kevin Combs, Oct 17th, 2008 @ 4:48pm

    Interesting that this is happening as the NY times has begun publishing their own API for article content. Advertisers are starting to have a hard time finding content that is worth having their message nearby.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Howard_NYC, Oct 17th, 2008 @ 5:17pm

    roots of AP...

    the orginating motive of AP and other such wire services was a lack of 'feet on the ground' in every locality... between zillions of pocket cameras, and an endless stream of eager bloggers that is no longer the case... never mind that thing about aggragating content... anybody with a T1 and a server can do that...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Joseph Durnal, Oct 17th, 2008 @ 8:15pm

    Not a fan of AP

    I think that the Internet has made the AP obsolete. I bounce around to a few different news web sites, a couple of papers and a couple of TV networks and what do I see, the same story 4 or 5 times, with the exact same coverage. Somehow I keep going back, and falling for the same old stuff, hoping to read about something from a different point of view, but that is rare.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    ken from illinois, Oct 18th, 2008 @ 8:34am

    The AP is intelligence challenged

    Most of the AP filler articles that I noticed in the Chicago Tribune were written by a moron. If the articles had any component of complexity, e.g., science, technology, the articles were clearly not adequately researched and were written in the style of a 7th grader. If the articles were a simple news fact, the article typically challenged your reading skills as it did not unfold the information clearly. Then, of course, if the article was political in nature, the presentation was clearly biased. The AP has a clear business vision: "we can be dumber than Larry or Larry's brother Larry".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    George Blake, Oct 18th, 2008 @ 2:24pm

    Re: roots of AP...

    If it's "feet on the ground" that's important, watch the growth of -- aleady 1000 local editors and licencing more daily. Local editor writing about events in their ZIP codes and home towns --and making money in the process selling local ads and keepign 100% of the proceeds. Local editors also share in national advertising according to the traffic they build on their sites.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Danny (profile), Oct 20th, 2008 @ 10:03am

    AP has dug itself into a hole

    The Tribune's announcement will likely be a tipping point, bringing other papers along and forcing the AP to react in some way (likely by changing the financial model.)

    Given the two year notice required, it would be stupid for any paper NOT to file notice they are leaving in two years. The AP will almost certainly take papers back - and notice provides a two year window for negotiation while preparing for alternative news sources.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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