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AP CEO Tom Curley Comes Out Firing Against Portals, Sort Of; Despairs But Asks Not To Despair

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Associated Press CEO Tom Curley was the honoree and keynoter at Thursday night’s annual Knight-Bagehot dinner in NYC, and he came out swinging against the very partners it syndicates a lot to: the online portals. His speech, posted online, is emblematic of the schizophrenic state of the news media industry: hope and despair all wrapped into a nervous bundle. “We — the news industry — have come to that fork in the road. We must take bold, decisive steps to secure the audiences and funding to support journalism

7 Responses to “AP CEO Tom Curley Comes Out Firing Against Portals, Sort Of; Despairs But Asks Not To Despair”

  1. Eponimus

    Tom Curley has taken a long-lived, long-sighted news cooperative and is busily turning it into a prime competitor of its nominal owners. The current focus is "customer-oriented" instead of "member-oriented," and the vision, as befits Curley's lifelong corporate background, is short-term gain, the Great God Numbers.

    The AP of Curley's predecessors was powerful and human. Curley's AP, cobbled together like Frankenstein's monster, aims to be very powerful — and damn the costly human element.

    Damned it shall be, but perhaps not in the way Curley and his fellow-travelers expect.

  2. Dan "Patio" Dalton

    It is ironic that UPI was born because AP granted exclusivity in a competitive newspaper market so many moons ago. I am not sure how this applies to the current malaise our industry finds itself in, but this kind of bold move needs to made soon. The idea that major search engines can use our content to compete against us is straight out of "Alice in Wonderland." It is bizarre.

  3. Allow me to add more context:

    AP's board of directors and owners are the old line media. They have tied Curley's hands in more knots than you would find at a Boy Scout camp-o-ree.

    If you think about it, Associated Press was in (and still is) a great position to establish the rules of how news would be distributed on the web. But, if you will remember years ago, The New York Times and many others once paid Yahoo to carry their news. (To remember this is to weep.)

    You put it in bold, but I'll note Curley's prime point again. "Job one for industry leaders should be doing whatever it takes to get a fair deal even if they must swallow some decades-long enmities and partner for more clout."

    I agree, this is his "Job #1." I was glad to read this. I thought he had given up. And if Associated Press can't do it, no one can. Schizophrenic state of "the news media industry" (i.e., the AP board of director) is obvious. But Mr. Curley head is obviously plenty clear. God bless him and good luck to AP.