Newspapers No Longer The AP’s Bread And Butter

    April 15, 2008

AP chairman Dean Singleton only used the words "Internet" and "websites" once each in a recent address, and "online" didn’t come up at all.  Still, Singleton’s remarks made clear that traditional newspapers are losing ground to new media.

AP Chairman
 Dean Singleton

"We understand that these are both difficult and historic times for the industry," said Singleton.  Later, he continued, "[Y]ou may be surprised to know that AP now receives only 28 percent of its revenues from member newspapers.  In 2009 it will receive less than 25 percent of its revenues from members.  Broadcasters, Internet companies and international subscribers now provide the lion’s share of AP revenue."

The AP isn’t cheering on old media’s death, of course; Singleton announced a number of price cuts that should benefit almost every form of press, and perhaps newspapers in particular.

However, the AP’s chairman added, "We are able to deliver these adjustments only because AP successfully has controlled costs while growing revenue and modernizing its technical infrastructure."  Which might be interpreted as a nudge for newspapers to do the same.

Finally, in vaguely related news, Dean Singleton managed to slip up and ask a certain presidential candidate about "Obama bin Laden."