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Four More Newspapers Intend To Drop AP Over Rates (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Editor & Publisher ^ | August 20, 2008 | Joe Strupp

Posted on 08/20/2008 12:38:42 PM PDT by abb

At least four more daily papers are planning to drop the Associated Press in the wake of new rates being announced, including The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash, which is trying to cut ties without the required two-year notice.

"Our lawyers think that we don’t have to wait two years," said Steve Smith, Spokesman-Review editor. "By the end of this week, we will have nailed down all of the things we have to do to replace AP."

AP contract rules require a two-year notice before service can be dropped.

Smith said his paper would like to cut ties completely within 30 days, but will go along with the two-year time requirement if needed. He plans to inform AP before Sept. 1.

"What we are paying for is not cost-effective," says Smith, who notes that he would save about $32,000 per year under new rates, but still sees the nearly-$400,000 annual cost as too high. "The money we save will help me preserve local staff jobs."

Other dailies that have already given notice to AP are The Bakersfield Californian and The Yakima Herald-Republic and Wenatchee World, both of Washington. They joined The Post Register of Idaho Falls, which informed AP of plans to drop the service last week.

Sue Cross, AP senior vice president/U.S. media markets, called the number of papers giving notice "pretty small so far."

"The last time we had a big rate structure change was in 1984, we had cancellations then," Cross added, saying the news cooperative is not keeping count of those seeking to drop. "My impression is that it is a very low percentage. The positive feedback has outweighed the negative."

Cross cited several positive responses from member newspaper groups, ranging from Cox Ohio Newspapers to Wick Communications of Arizona. David Goodwin, Cox Ohio assistant managing editor, stated: "We are doubly pleased with the new pricing plan. It exceeded our estimates."

Bakersfield Executive Editor Mike Jenner said he gave notice at the beginning of August, while Herald-Republic Editor Sarah Jenkins sent a termination letter on Aug. 11, claiming the new AP rate structure had been the cause.

Jenkins said she would have to pay between 3% and 7% more under the new rates set to take effect in 2009, while Jenner admits he would likely save 4%, but still does not want to pay it.

"My hope is that I can use it for a negotiating tool, this may give me some leverage," Jenkins told E&P. "But I don’t have high hopes of that. My plan is that we have to figure this out in the next two years."

Rufus Woods, editor and publisher in Wenatchee, sent a letter July 1 giving notice even though he will save about 4% in 2009. "We will evaluate it between now and then," he said about the two-year timeline. "It may not be the best use of our resources." "It is a big chunk of the budget," Jenkins said about her AP costs, which she says will be about $171,000 in 2009. "As is true, I am pretty sure, for every newspaper."

The recent decisions to drop AP service follow the planned AP rate structure change, which was announced in 2007 and takes effect in 2009. The rate change has already prompted complaints from numerous newspapers, including two groups of editors who wrote angry letters to AP to complain in late 2007 and early 2008.

One group included editors from Ohio, while the other spanned The Boston Globe, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Philadelphia Inquirer, among others.

Under current AP policy, each newspaper buys a package of general news created by AP based on that paper's location and circulation. The package usually includes breaking news, sports, business, and other national, international, and regional news relevant to the client's market, including its state AP wire. ((

Under the new structure, AP member newspapers will receive all breaking news worldwide (including items from other state wires), as well as breaking sports, business, and entertainment stories. In addition, a package of premium content — made up of five types of non-breaking stories including sports, entertainment, business, lifestyle and analysis — will be available at an additional cost. ((

When the new structure was announced in 2007, AP promised a combined savings of $5.6 million across newspaper member budgets, which increased to $14 million —and, finally, $21 million just days before the April annual AP meeting.((

AP officials said member newspapers would begin to find out in July what their exact fees would be for 2009, which prompted the recent decisions and could result in other newspapers cutting their service before the end of the year.

"We haven't decided what we are doing," said Susan Goldberg, editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, who signed both letters. "It is somewhat cheaper if you buy their full package."

Several editors said that the new rates would give then a slightly cheaper cost. But others claimed the flexibility is not widespread enough. "We are examining what we are going to do," said David Shribman, Post-Gazette editor. "We don't rule out a world in which we are not members of the Associated Press."

But none of the original letter-writers who spoke with E&P would acknowledge plans to cut the service. "There has been no talk of dropping it," said Jeff Gauger, editor of the The Repository in Canton, Ohio. "We are still weighing what we want to be involved with."

Editor Tom Callinan of the Cincinnati Enquirer said "Everything is on the table," while Ron Royhab, editor of The Blade in Toledo, declared: "there are options, you can give notice or keep what you have."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: advertising; ap; dbm; newspapers
"I was taught when I was a young reporter that it's news when we say it is. I think that's still true -- it's news when 'we' say it is. It's just who 'we' is has changed"

David Carr (b. 1956), US Journalist. CNN "Reliable Sources", Sunday, August 10, 2008.

1 posted on 08/20/2008 12:38:45 PM PDT by abb
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To: 04-Bravo; aimhigh; andyandval; Arizona Carolyn; backhoe; Bahbah; bert; bilhosty; Caipirabob; ...

ping


2 posted on 08/20/2008 12:40:05 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

They just got the Tubbs-Jones ‘death’ story wrong today, too!


3 posted on 08/20/2008 12:41:38 PM PDT by MadelineZapeezda ( MUST SEE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkgHkxIfgBc)
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To: abb

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=88820&art_type=10
Media General: Ad Sales Down In July, Publishing Is Hardest Hit

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/18/immelt-on-nbc-financial-deals-and-private-equity/
Immelt on NBC, Financial Deals and Private Equity

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/technology/2008-08-19-fcc-martin_N.htm
Martin wants broadband across USA

http://www.nypost.com/seven/08202008/business/daily_news_looks_to_slash_25_jobs_125282.htm
DAILY NEWS LOOKS TO SLASH 25 JOBS

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2008123150_times190.html
Times, P-I will raise newsstand price


4 posted on 08/20/2008 12:42:21 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003840635
Gannett Cuts 120 Jobs At Six New Jersey Newspapers

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003840682
EXCLUSIVE From Nielsen: Nearly Half of Top 30 Newspaper Sites Decline in ‘Time Spent’

http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/847066.html
Star-Telegram initiates separation program

http://journalismschool.wordpress.com/2008/08/19/philly-newspapers-under-knight-ridder-by-the-numbers/
Philly Newspapers Under Knight-Ridder: By the Numbers


5 posted on 08/20/2008 12:50:56 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb
Under current AP policy, each newspaper buys a package of general news created by AP based on that paper's location and circulation. [emphasis added]

Does the AP create news or simply report upon it? Will they create it to fit your location and circulation? "Big lib readership here at the Big City Rag and Birdcage Liner, please turn the dial to 95% left bias." What a service!

6 posted on 08/20/2008 12:51:03 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (College kid: "Do you have a minute for Obama?" NVA: "Not now or ever.")
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To: sionnsar

WA Ping


7 posted on 08/20/2008 12:52:59 PM PDT by RainMan
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To: NonValueAdded

Well I guess they’ll have to write their own opinion pieces.


8 posted on 08/20/2008 12:54:42 PM PDT by dblshot
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To: abb

AP is evil. More dinosaur liberal media dying. Good.


9 posted on 08/20/2008 12:54:45 PM PDT by kevinm13 (The Main Stream Media is dead! "Global Warming" is a HOAX!)
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To: abb

I love it when the rotten propagandist pigs at the AP lose money. They get what they deserve.


10 posted on 08/20/2008 1:00:25 PM PDT by Sprite518
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To: MadelineZapeezda; abb; All

OMG are you serious that wrong on some many level that remind me when they accidently mention Bob Hope died and he turn out he was alive few years ago LOL!

I hear he got big kick of it he was eating breakfast and he told Dolores hey AP told the world I am dead LOL!


11 posted on 08/20/2008 1:02:15 PM PDT by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us, resistence is futile")
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To: MadelineZapeezda; abb; All

OMG are you serious that wrong on some many level that remind me when they accidently mention Bob Hope died and he turn out he was alive few years ago LOL!

I hear he got big kick of it he was eating breakfast and he told Dolores hey AP told the world I am dead LOL!


12 posted on 08/20/2008 1:02:25 PM PDT by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us, resistence is futile")
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To: abb

13 posted on 08/20/2008 1:15:53 PM PDT by weegee (The higher taxes that Obama demands of Americans are 'Above my Pay Grade'.)
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To: Sprite518
"Our lawyers think that we don’t have to wait two years," said Steve Smith, Spokesman-Review editor.
I love it when the rotten propagandist pigs at the AP lose money. They get what they deserve.
Stop softpedaling it! The AP was held by SCOTUS to be an illegal monopoly in 1945. They are the reason journalism as we know it - including its left-wing bias - exists.

The Right to Know


14 posted on 08/20/2008 1:20:28 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The conceit of journalistic objectivity is profoundly subversive of democratic principle.)
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To: NonValueAdded

AP creates the package not the news.


15 posted on 08/20/2008 1:24:44 PM PDT by RochesterFan
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To: abb
AP contract rules require a two-year notice before service can be dropped

I would imagine that if they change the rates, then the paper can get out of the contract. Very few contracts have a clause that lets one side change the terms and force the other side to accept them no matter what. COLAs are an exception, but this sounds like something over and above a simple cost of living adjustment--they are not just changing the rates but the structures. This will give the papers an out, and AP may find it is not so necessary any more.

I would love to see papers devote more of that ink to blog reports. The only reason for local papers any more is for their local news and local sports coverage. National news can be had on the internet. So, maybe papers ought to go to that business model, and save a lot of money.

16 posted on 08/20/2008 1:26:22 PM PDT by Defiant (The Obamessiah creed: There was a pedophile named Mohammed, and Obama is his messenger.)
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To: abb

So, the AP sucks in independent reports then distributes them at a very high cost? Have they never heard of the Internet?


17 posted on 08/20/2008 1:26:32 PM PDT by CodeToad
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To: abb; ForGod'sSake

When your product is crappie and way too expensive, customers get riled.

It seems like dealing with the AP and packages is like dealing with the cable company. You always get screwed.

I would hope there are fifty or a hundred different AP lawsuits against papers that say screw you to the two years notice thing. Bleed them dry.....that's the ticket.

18 posted on 08/20/2008 1:32:00 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Conservation? Let the NE Yankees freeze.... in the dark)
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To: CodeToad

The Associated Press is and always was nothing but a distribution system that furnishes assembled words. They own and operate the pipeline.

They no longer have that monopoly.


19 posted on 08/20/2008 1:33:16 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

Sounds like thier really gonna need this fairness doctrine


20 posted on 08/20/2008 2:25:10 PM PDT by ronnie raygun (IF YOU ARE NOT CONSERVATIVE BY 35 YOU HAVE NO BRAIN. W CHURCHILL)
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To: abb

So....where they going to get their news from.....Kos?


21 posted on 08/20/2008 3:37:29 PM PDT by cookcounty (Ladykiller Billy Ayers' idea of murdering women in the Pentagon bathroom for "peace" a real winner .)
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To: abb; conservatism_IS_compassion; All

GRRRREAT news! Thanks for posting.

The Right to Know (post #14) BUMP!!!


22 posted on 08/20/2008 6:22:22 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: abb

If the AP and the fish wraps sue each other who do we cheer for? I’m thinking it’s like watching two fire ants fight to the death. Who cares who loses, we win!


23 posted on 08/20/2008 6:39:41 PM PDT by Clay Moore ("Bro, face it. You (print media) guys are the 8-track cassette of news")
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To: Libertina; SatinDoll; lilycicero; E. Cartman; Grunthor; lonevoice; Fractal Trader; wolfpat; ...
Resisting the temptation to comment. Thanks to RainMan for the ping.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Say WA? Evergreen State ping

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this ping list.

Ping sionnsar if you see a Washington state related thread.

24 posted on 08/20/2008 10:04:51 PM PDT by sionnsar (Impeach Obama |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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