The Associated Press, a co-operative established to share costs and news, is heading into choppy waters. The AP has recently received a raft of cancellation notices from newspapers in the United States.
Minneapolis Star Tribune has cancelled its subscription on receiving the new rates that were distributed by the AP in July. Strib editor Nancy Barnes has been an outspoken critic of AP pricing but her managing editor Rene Sanchez told MinnPost.com this is "not a hostile gesture, by any means. It's the beginning of an assessment of our business model, not the end."
The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, is fighting the two-year cancellation notice that's part of its current contract with the AP. Editor and Publisher report that the Spokesman-Review are arguing that the new rate structure that starts in 2009 is actually a new contract and the paper should not be bound by the old agreement.
The AP's spokesman, Paul Colford, however, told PaidContent.org: "There is no new contract involved in what is a service upgrade. At the same time, the AP will be working with the Spokesman-Review and other papers to help resolve concerns they may have during the rollout of the new Member Choice packaging and pricing plan, which will provide newspaper members with greatly expanded basic news coverage."
The Spokesman-Review also claim local and state service has deteriorated and that the new rate is too high.