The E. W. Scripps Company, the Ohio based owner of 17 US newspapers including the Rocky Mountain News may be about to drop their agreement with the Associated Press (AP) for syndicated content, according to a report from Editor&Publisher.
The move would follow The Tribune Company giving the requisite 2 years notice last week, and a number of smaller players also dropping out.
E. W. Scripps would neither confirm nor deny the report. In an email to E&P, Scripps Vice President for Corporate Communications and Investor Relations Tim King would only say:
“At this point, all I’d be comfortable saying is that we are a member in good standing of the AP, but we have been engaged in discussions concerning pricing so the future is uncertain.”
Rocky Mountain News Editor and Publisher John Temple went on record saying the paper could survive without AP content.
“I think we are very close to being able to do so….I think there are different papers that could put out a paper without AP in different ways. I believe you can do it and satisfy the needs of your readers.”
Certainly sounds like they’re making plans already for when and if the decision is made.
The move away from AP continues as the economic outlook for newspapers in the United States worsens after an already rapid decline starting in 2006.