The Tribune Company has given notice to the Associated Press (AP) that it no longer wishes to use its services.
The Tribune group includes the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale); The Orlando Sentinel; Red Eye (Chicago); the Hartford Courant; The Baltimore Sun; The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.), and The Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
Under standard terms and conditions, AP members must provide a rather amazing 2 years notice for termination of content agreements, so the Tribune group will still have access to, and presumably will be using AP content for the next two years.
Editor & Publisher contributes the decision to a new AP pricing schedule announced in 2007, a move that wasn’t popular in the industry.
The Tribune Group isn’t the first to drop AP services, The Star Tribune of Minneapolis, The Bakersfield Californian, The Post Register of Idaho Falls, and The Yakima Herald-Republic and Wenatchee World have already given notice. E&P notes that The Spokesman-Review is trying to cut AP without the required two-year notice, aiming to be AP free by the end of the year.
The new rates don’t help the situation, but the broader economic outlook and the decline of the newspaper business is a bigger factor in the shift away from wire services. Newspapers already bleeding readers and advertisers prior to the economic crisis will now see an even more rapid decline than previously expected. Newspapers losing money have to cut costs, and as we wrote in September, wire services could and will be targeted, particularly as newspapers come to realize that they don’t need a middle man to exchange stories.