CNN pitches newspaper wire to US editors


Los Angeles : Coming off an election season that was a financial and ratings success, cable news pioneer CNN convened a meeting of top newspaper editors Monday to outline its plans for a news wire to serve America’s thousands of newspapers and their websites.

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The meeting of editors from over 30 major newspapers marks the first publicly-released details about the plan which could represent a major challenge to the Associated Press (AP).

AP, the dominant newswire in the US, is facing severe pressure to cut prices from the 1,400 newspapers that own it to help them deal with the twin challenges posed by the internet and the economic downturn.

Several major newspaper chains in the US, including the Tribune Group which owns the Los Angeles Times, have already announced their intention to drop the AP at the end of a proscribed two-year notification period. In response, the AP has reduced its rates, in a move it claims will save its member companies more than $30 million a year.

CNN’s move into the news wire business had been largely expected since it dropped Reuters’ news service last year, saving the network more than $3 million a year, according to the New York Times.

The AP is the world’s largest news gathering operation, employing over 3,000 journalists in more than 100 countries. CNN says it has a staff of 3,800 people, 22 international bureaus and 15 US bureaus.