Is this the beginning of the end for the AP? There has been much chatter these last few months about rising prices at The Associated Press, and a number of newspapers have hinted that there were considering discontinuing their use of the service. Today one of those threats panned out when Sam Zell‘s beleaguered Tribune Co. announced that it was giving the required two-year notice re its plan to drop the news service from all its daily papers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. Says AP spokesman Paul Colford:
We understand that in this climate a lot of newspapers are re-examining their strategies. The Associated Press will continue to work with all members of the cooperative to ensure that we are providing the most efficient, valued and essential news service for them.
No word yet on how the Tribune Co. papers, still reeling from a series of “deep cuts” earlier this year, plan on compensating for the drop in coverage — the Tribune Co. has said that it is “evaluating all expenses” and will now “begin a dialogue internally and with the cooperative over what role, if any, the AP will play in their future.” However, at the current rate of change the newspaper industry in undergoing the question of whether newspapers will still exist in their present form in two years is a valid one.