Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gannett Blog: Newspaper chain to drop AP and use USA Today feed

Former Gannett editor Jim Hopkins' Gannett Watch blog says the newspaper chain, which has seen its stock value drop more than 75 percent during the past few months, is planning on saving costs by dropping Associated Press and using material from its flagship newspaper, USA Today:

In a fresh sign of its worsening finances, the nation's biggest newspaper publisher is quietly testing a new service that it expects will replace some Associated Press news stories at its 84 U.S. newspapers, a memo obtained by Gannett Blog says.

The Dec. 19 memo by a Gannett Digital subsidiary employee describes an "AP Feed Project" that involves USA Today and an unspecified number of Gannett's papers.

The project, the memo says, is "a pilot (and eventual company-wide rollout) where we will ask newspapers to swap out their AP news feeds for the USAT equivalents. The cost savings for making this switch is estimated to be about one million dollars per year across Gannett properties.

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