Gannett and McClatchy Cut Back Relationship With A.P.


Two major American newspaper chains, Gannett and McClatchy, plan to drastically curtail their business relationships with The Associated Press, which supplies news reports and images to outlets around the world.

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

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

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

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

McClatchy, which the hedge fund Chatham Asset Management bought out of bankruptcy in 2020, told its editors this week that it would stop using some A.P. services next month. McClatchy operates about 30 newspapers, including The Miami Herald and The Kansas City Star, as well as a bureau in Washington, D.C.

In an email sent on Monday, Kathy Vetter, McClatchy’s senior vice president of news and audience, said that The A.P.’s feed would end on March 29 and that no A.P. content could be published after March 31. She said, however, that McClatchy would continue to use The A.P.’s election results data.

“With this decision, we will no longer pay millions for content that serves less than 1 percent of our readers,” Ms. Vetter wrote in the email, which was viewed by The New York Times. “In most cases we have found replacements. However, we are still working on a universal solution for state ‘wires’ content.”

McClatchy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lauren Easton, a spokeswoman for The A.P., said conversations with Gannett and McClatchy over their contracts “have been productive and are ongoing.”

“We appreciate that these are difficult decisions to make and deeply understand the challenges the news industry faces,” Ms. Easton said in a statement. “At the same time, this would be a disservice to news consumers across the U.S. who would no longer see fact-based journalism from The A.P.”

The A.P., which was founded in 1846, has reporters in every state and nearly 100 countries. It provides wire content, including articles, photos and videos, to publications and broadcasters around the world, including The New York Times.

It also has a central role in U.S. election coverage: Many major news organizations use its election data, and some wait for The A.P. to call a race before they report a winner.

The A.P. once relied primarily on licensing fees from newspapers but now has a variety of other revenue streams, including a news website, an e-commerce site, and software and production services. According to an article on its website, fees from U.S. newspapers account for roughly 10 percent of The A.P.’s income.

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

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