AP tries to help grumpy, cash-strapped members

October 24, 2008

More cracks are appearing in the newspaper industry. Things have become so tough that the Associated Press has agreed to slash $9 million from its membership fees. With newspaper’s reeling from depressed advertising revenue, they are looking to save money wherever they can, and have been clamoring for a break from the AP.

PaidContent’s Staci Kramer talked to AP chief revenue officer Tom Brettigen about the cuts. Here’s what he said about how AP will make up for the drop in income.

“We have a lot to make up. We’ve been working on the revenue side; this undoubtedly is going to require some work on the cost side. For a company where the costs are primarily its people, it’s going to mean having to look at some positions.” AP already has a hiring freeze; now it’s looking at staff cuts. “It’s too early to be specific. It is a peculiar situation where we reduce the costs to the newspapers, which means we may be more than likely to make cost reductions. It will affect the news report as little as we can possibly make it.”

Keep an eye on:

  • Major Hollywood studios said they would accept the intervention of a federal mediator to help break a nearly 4-month-old deadlock in contract talks with the Screen Actors Guild (Reuters)
  • Ticketmaster Inc’s purchase of a big stake in a powerful artist-management company on Thursday signals more industry consolidation as it vies with Live Nation Inc for dominance in live entertainment (Reuters)
  • Chinese Internet search leader Baidu posted a 91 percent rise in quarterly net profit, after a surge in Web usage tied to the Beijing Olympics, and said it expects continued strong revenue growth (Reuters)

(Photo: Reuters)

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