Interview: Dean Singleton, AP Chairman: Setting ‘The Rules Of Engagement’

imageAnyone who thinks he or she really understands what the Associated Press plans to do about controlling the use of news industry content is much better at mindreading and predicting the future than I am. After all, the AP already has an aggressive rep when it comes to lawsuits over aggregating and intellectual-property protection so the idea of suing isn’t new. That’s one reason I asked for time with Dean Singleton, chairman of the AP board and CEO of MediaNews Group, following the news that AP is launching such an initiative for the news industry.

Singleton didn’t pull any punches during our phone interview — repeating in various ways, “We own the content. We can use it as we see fit because it’s ours.” But he didn’t provide much detail, either. What he did say: print isn’t going away, advertising can’t carry the weight anymore, and online pay models may be on the way. Highlights below:

Why take this tack?: “I think our industry has been very timid about protecting our content, probably because we