Gannett and McClatchy cut ties with AP

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Two major US newspaper chains, Gannett and McClatchy, plan to drastically cut their business ties with The Associated Press, which provides news reports and images to outlets around the world.

Gannett, the largest newspaper company in the United States and publisher of USA TODAY, said Tuesday that, starting Monday, it will no longer use AP articles, photos and videos in hundreds of its publications.

“Between USA TODAY and our incredible network of more than 200 newsrooms, we produce more journalism than The AP every day,” Kristin Roberts, Gannett’s chief content officer, wrote in a company memo.

Ms. Roberts said Gannett will continue to use the AP for election data and its stylebook, which provides guidance on language and journalistic practices. He said Gannett has signed a deal with a rival news agency, Reuters, for global news, “while we build our capacity.”

Gannett spokeswoman Lark-Marie Anton said in a statement that the decision “enables us to further invest in our newsroom.”

McClatchy, which was bought out of bankruptcy in 2020 by hedge fund Chatham Asset Management, told its editors this week that it would stop using some AP services next month. McClatchy operates approximately 30 newspapers, including The Miami Herald and The Kansas City Star, as well as a bureau in Washington, DC.

In an email sent Monday, Cathy Vetter, McClatchy’s senior vice president of news and audiences, said the AP’s feed will end March 29 and no AP content will be published after March 31. However, he said McClatchy would continue to use the AP’s election results data.

“With this decision, we will no longer pay millions for content that serves less than 1 percent of our readers,” Ms. Vetter wrote in the email, which was seen by The New York Times. “In most cases we have found replacements. However, we are still working on a universal solution for state ‘wire’ content.

McClatchy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lauren Easton, spokeswoman for The AP, said negotiations with Gannett and McClatchy on their contracts “have been productive and are ongoing.”

“We appreciate that these are difficult decisions to make and deeply understand the challenges facing the news industry,” Ms Easton said in a statement. “At the same time, it would be a disservice to news consumers across America who would no longer see fact-based journalism from the AP.”

The AP, founded in 1846, has reporters in every state and nearly 100 countries. It provides wire content, including articles, photos, and videos, to publications and broadcasters around the world, including The New York Times.

It also has a central role in American election coverage: many major news organizations use its election data, and some wait for the AP to call the race before reporting the winner.

The AP once relied primarily on licensing fees from newspapers, but now has several other revenue streams, including a news website, an e-commerce site, and software and production services. According to an article on its website, fees from US newspapers account for about 10 percent of the AP’s income.

“The loss of McClatchy and Gannett will have no impact on our overall revenues,” Ms. Easton said.

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