It’s Official: CNN Drops AP Subscription

By Alex Weprin 

As TVNewser first reported earlier this month, CNN has gone ahead and is dropping its subscription to the Associated Press, effective immediately.

CNN’s own newsgathering operation will be the primary source of content on CNN, and CNN Radio.

According to an internal memo from CNN Worldwide chief Jim Walton, the company will be staffing up on its wires team and adding positions in a number of bureaus to help speed the news-distribution process along.


Interestingly, CNN is also entering into an agreement with Reuters to “supplement breaking news coverage,” according to the memo. CNN dropped its Reuters subscription in 2007.

Walton’s memo is after the jump.

Update: AP statement is also after the jump. and CNN Radio had been AP-free since early 2009, and the network had been testing out periods without using the wire service since November, 2009.

As expected, the news comes as CNN prepares to expand its CNN Wire service, part of the company’s larger “content ownership” strategy.

“We have been unable to reach agreement with CNN on its license to use our content,” said AP director of media relations Paul Colford, in a statement provided to TVNewser. “It is unfortunate that CNN’s viewers will no longer have access to the breaking news and worldwide reporting resources of The Associated Press, the gold standard in journalism. We will continue to provide AP news to other TV networks and tens of thousands of additional broadcast and cable outlets, as well as newspapers, websites and portals around the world.”

To: CNN Staff
From: Jim Walton

We are taking an important next step in the content-ownership process we began in 2007 to more fully leverage CNN’s global newsgathering investments. Starting today, CNN newsgathering will be the primary source of all content for all of our platforms and services. We will no longer use AP materials or services. The content we offer will be distinctive, compelling and, I am proud to say, our own.

Beyond the obvious business reasons for this operating shift-the content we spend our money to create should be the content we present, and less reliance on outside sources will mean more to invest in our organization-there are other important motivations. CNN-exclusive content will further differentiate our platforms in the media marketplace. It will provide consumers with the unique news and information experience they expect from CNN. And it will make us more creative, resourceful and collaborative journalists and news professionals.

To support this new model, we are expanding the CNN Wires team and embedding positions with desks and bureaus to speed information to air. Among continuing infrastructure improvements to further our distinctive storytelling, we’re launching CNN Share to aggregate editorial content and facilitate easy distribution and sharing across platforms; launching a new alert system for breaking news; creating newsgathering opportunities across all dayparts; and building tools to expand information gathering from social media and emerging sources.

Our global broadcast affiliates will be key partners in this effort. Creating more original content will enhance our service to them and build stronger working relationships going forward. Additionally, we are entering into an arrangement with Reuters to supplement breaking news coverage and we have the Spanish-language wire service EFE available in-house.

This effort is the result of creative thinking, partnership and hard work by colleagues from across CNN guided by the same goal: to further strengthen CNN’s leadership position and grow our business. I am grateful to them for bringing us to this point, and to each of you for taking it from here. By embracing this new way of working, we are demonstrating our commitment to the future of CNN.