Business

Gannett, McClatchy scale back relationship with AP

Two major US newspaper chains, Gannett and McClatchy, are considering significantly reducing their business relationships with the Associated Press, which provides reporting and images to media outlets around the world.

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

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

Ms. Roberts noted that Gannett would continue to use The AP for election data and its stylebook, which provides guidance on journalistic language and practices. She added that Gannett had signed a deal with a rival news agency, Reuters, for global news “while we build our capabilities.”

Lark-Marie Antón, a Gannett spokeswoman, said in a statement that the move “allows us to further invest in our newsrooms.”

McClatchy, including hedge fund Chatham Asset Management bought out of bankruptcy in 2020, 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, Kathy Vetter, McClatchy's senior vice president of news and audience, said The AP's feed would end March 29 and no AP content could be published after March, 31st. She said, however, that McClatchy would continue. to use PA election results data.

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

McClatchy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lauren Easton, a spokeswoman for The AP, said conversations with Gannett and McClatchy about their contracts “have been productive and are continuing.”

“We understand 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 the United States, who would no longer see the AP's fact-based journalism.”

The AP, founded in 1846, has journalists located across the United States and nearly 100 countries. It provides wired content, including articles, photos and videos, to publications and broadcasters around the world, including The New York Times.

This also has a central role in U.S. election coverage: many major news organizations use its election data, and some wait until the AP call a race before announcing a winner.

The AP once relied primarily on newspaper licensing fees but now has a variety of other sources of revenue, including a news website, an e-commerce site, and production software and services. According to an article on its website, royalties from U.S. newspapers represent about 10 percent of the AP's revenue.

“The loss of McClatchy and Gannett would not have a material impact on our overall revenue,” Ms. Easton said.

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