Tags: tribune | drops | ap | coverage

Chicago Tribune, 6 Other Newspapers to Drop AP

Wednesday, 26 Dec 2012 05:03 PM

By Todd Beamon

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The Chicago Tribune and six other newspapers owned by Tribune Co. are dropping the Associated Press starting early next month.

Besides the Tribune, the other newspapers include the Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Hartford Courant, Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., and the Daily Press in Newport News, Va.

The Los Angeles Times is expected to retain its AP membership under a separate agreement, Time Out Chicago reports.

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“We’re disappointed by this development but recognize this is a time of transition for these seven Tribune newspapers,” Paul Colford, AP’s director of media relations, told Time Out on Sunday. “We hope they’ll return to AP as their circumstances change.

“AP continues to diversify its business to enhance the value of our newsgathering for our 1,400 member newspapers and other news organizations worldwide,” Colford added. “The Los Angeles Times has indicated that it plans to stay with AP. The Times has been a great partner in innovation and developing new AP services for many years.”

Founded 166 years ago, AP is a global news provider — with 3,700 employees worldwide, including 2,300 gathering news in more than 100 countries. The news service is operated as a not-for-profit cooperative, owned by its member news organizations.

The move, though historic for Tribune, was not unexpected. As early as 2008, not long after Sam Zell became CEO, Tribune Co. signaled intentions to end its ties with AP.

The service reportedly was charging nearly $9 million a year.

In 2010, Tribune cut back sharply on its use of AP after signing a multi-year contract with Reuters America, which is owned by Thomson Reuters.

The deal was estimated at the time to save Tribune as much as $5 million a year.

Tribune Co. is expected to emerge soon from its four-year bankruptcy, which began a year after Zell gained control through a leveraged buyout, Time Out reports.

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