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During its annual meeting today, the Associated Press board conducted the usual business — adding Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth and *New York Times Co.* Vice Chairman Michael Golden to the board, agreeing to a July rollout of its News Registry, approving a new college football vertical with member rev share. It also took an unusual step: it authorized management to negotiate business models and develop platforms with content distributors, search engines, device manufacturers and others on behalf of members and the news industry. That mandate does not include pricing.
That’s a major shift from the AP negotiating only for the use of its content and services, and speaking primarily on behalf of its own members. AP Chairman Dean Singleton, chairman and CEO of MediaNews Group, explained the decision to paidContent in an interview following the meeting: “AP and the AP board have concluded that it’s important for somebody to speak for the industry as we enter into business relationships on mobile and other wireless applications, including the iPad and others. The analogy that was used is you wouldn’t have 32 NFL teams individually negotiating for a broadcast agreements, you