As the Associated Press Begs for Cash, It Teams With Foundering CNN, and It Is Difficult to Find a Winner

Townhall Media

While it is widely known the media landscape is looking like a war zone, with perpetual layoffs and announced closing of outlets coming on the regular, what is not always seen is how far-reaching the ripples can become. With the struggles shown to be widespread, one of the sources that has been affected is one few may have expected – the Associated Press.


The well-established news syndicate has also been under duress, and a curious revelation shows just how poorly things have become. Our own Andrew Malcolm shared with me a recent discovery on the news portal site – they are asking for donations from the readers these days.

Leading to this fundraising drive were the recent decisions made by a couple of media outfits to sever their relationships. Recently both Gannett — publisher of USA Today and a network of local papers — and the McClatchy News service, which operates dozens of major newspapers, announced they were dropping their use of AP to feed content to their outlets. This loss of hundreds of news sources had to be a gut punch to the wire service, which has operated since the 1850s.

All is not dire for the AP, however, as it has been reported the news service will be reestablishing its relationship with CNN. Some 14 years ago, the cable news network dropped its use of the Associated Press to feed its news gathering, opting to broaden its own coverage and become a self-sustaining news source. Now, CNN is looking to the AP to supply its online content.


This is not considered good news inside of CNN offices. The network is going through a series of newly-focused agendas and restructuring under new CEO Mark Thompson, who is looking to steer the network back onto a path of success. Thompson’s plans are to move into streaming and other avenues as the television side continues to erode. (Last month, the third-place news network experienced its lowest demo ratings in decades.)

The fear inside CNN, according to Puck News, is that Thompson is going to rely on AP feeds for online news content and begin layoffs within the digital division. Not surprisingly, management has stepped in to attempt to quell those concerns.

A CNN spokeswoman denied that the new deal with the AP signified job cuts were on the way. “This allows our journalists to spend more time on enterprise reporting and less time on quick stories across platforms,” the rep said. “The goal is to enhance our editorial reach while allowing us to focus on key editorial priorities.”

Making this difficult to believe is that Thompson has said that cost-cutting and eliminating redundancies and other needed trimming was on the horizon. So how would bringing on the additional new expense of signing onto the AP news service make sense to his plan unless he has the intention of offsetting that cost elsewhere?


It is quite likely that CNN will rely on the Associated Press wire news for a significant amount of the content while letting go of the reporters and writers filling that need. Good news for a languishing AP, but possibly dire for CNN workers. So, just as one outlet may have found a solution to its problems, those may merely be offloaded onto another. 


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