William Dean Singleton, CEO of Denver-based publisher MediaNews Group and chairman of the AP board, shared a few thoughts with me in an interview about newspapers’ woes that ran on paidContent this week: the economy (the downturn, not the internet, is where the pain stems from), convergent ad sales teams (print and online should not be sold separately) and the reason some AP members are up in arms over the coming changes in its price structure (faced with cutting more staff or cutting the AP, desperate editors opt for the latter). I asked a number of industry observers and editors who decided to cancel their membership for reaction to Singleton’s view of the wire service and why some are considering turning their backs on the AP.
More after the jump.
– The backstory: Last spring, after years of debate, the AP began offering members details of its forthcoming U.S. pricing model. The AP claimed that members would get back $21 million under the Member Choice plan when it goes into effect on Jan 1, 2009. In addition to an estimated $13.6 million in assessment reductions, members would be eligible for an additional $7.5 million in rate reductions through the news gathering organ