Tensions Flare Between CNN and AP

By Alex Weprin Comment

cnnap_2-9.jpgThe Upshot’s Michael Calderone reports on tensions between the Associated Press and CNN.

As TVNewser first reported, CNN dropped its subscription to the AP in June, instead relying on its own news-gathering operation, with some assistance for “breaking news coverage” from Reuters.

Now, according to internal memos obtained by Calderone, the AP claims that CNN continues to use AP reporting.

One memo says:

CNN continues to rely heavily, and apparently systematically, on AP breaking news, exclusive enterprise and in-depth reporting. CNN often cites AP, in its online stories and on its cable channels, trading on AP’s valuable and respected brand and also free riding on resource intensive reporting done at AP expense. In the absence of AP, CNN is often late with breaking news stories, forced to rely on press releases and secondary sources, behind and sometimes even incorrect on critical facts and updates.

As Calderone notes, this is not just petty talk, there are real business implications here. CNN offers its own wire service, which, while not as broad-reaching as the AP, is being pitched as a less expensive option.

It is also a business that Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent has identified as being an area of growth for the company over the next few years.