On Monday, CNN announced that it has decided to end its contract with Associated Press, Yahoo News reports. CNN spokesman Nigel Pritchard claimed that the terms AP offered "did not fit our business model" but offered no other reason for the split. In its statement, Associated Press likewise did not offer a reason, only saying "it is unfortunate that CNN's viewers will no longer have access to the breaking news and worldwide reporting resources of The Associated Press."
However, the split from AP seems to be a point of pride for CNN president Jim Walton. Walton told his employees through a memo on Monday that in light of their split from AT "the content we offer will be distinctive, compelling and, I am proud to say, our own."
Associated Press is a global news company that provides stories to thousands of news sources in the US alone. They have, however, been facing increasing pressure from their subscribers to decrease their fees in light of the advertising slump and other industry problems. In response to these complaints, the AP has decreased their fees in recent years.
One of AP's over-seas competitors, Agence France-Presse, has also faced similar problems in recent years: in June 2009, the French regional paper La Provence dropped the AFP.
Moreover, CNN presently faces its own challenges, reports Yahoo. As viewers opt to watch more opinioned shows, CNN has lost some of its viewership. Yahoo notes "CNN's weekday prime-time viewership during the first three months of the year was down 42 percent from 2009."
CNN has also arranged to use Reuters to supplement its breaking news coverage. CNN will also be expanding its staff of CNN Wires.
This move by CNN is not unlike another one by Ohio newspapers, which split from AP to form their own news organization amongst themselves. The decreasing dependence on AP could be a positive change for CNN once it gets past its growing period. Producing its own original content will allow for CNN to expand in a way they couldn't have when they were still relying on AP. While CNN will still rely to a certain degree on other news sources to supplement their reporting, Walton clearly has intentions to expand CNN's production of original content.
While AP's spokesman Paul Colford may say that AP and CNN's split will be "unfortunate" for CNN's viewers, it could be an opportunity for CNN to attract a greater viewership by expanding and developing a stronger voice in the news industry.