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Gannett Planning Own Content Service?

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A new report suggests that Gannett is testing a service that would take the place of Associated Press content at some of its dozens of daily newspapers.

Jim Hopkins at the independent Gannett Blog writes that he obtained a memo from a Gannett Digital employee discussing the plan.

He relates, "The Dec. 19 memo by an employee at the company's Gannett Digital subsidiary describes an 'AP Feed Project' that involves USA Today and an unspecified number of Gannett's newspaper websites. The project, the memo says, is 'a pilot (and eventual company-wide rollout) where we will ask newspapers to swap out their AP news feeds for the USAT equivalents. The cost savings for making this switch is estimated to be about one million dollars per year across Gannett properties.'"

This prompted Hopkins to ask AP spokesman Paul Colford for a response. He quotes Colford: "We have not received a cancellation notice from Gannett. We know Gannett, like many newspaper companies, is exploring content options during these difficult economic times. If a cancellation were to be filed, it would take effect two years from the time it was sent. We are serving Gannett and we expect to continue serving Gannett."

Click on the full, unconfirmed blog reporthere.