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AP Newspaper Revs Fell By A Third Since ’08

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The rise of a “mobile future” was fast approaching and newspaper publishers needed to get better prepared, Associated Press CEO Tom Curley warned at an industry conference last week. He has a solid basis for issuing that admonition, as the AP is earning less and less money from its newspaper members, Poynter’s Rick Edmonds reports.

Specifically, the amount of revenue the AP gets from its newspaper members has dropped by one-third over the past two years, from $220 million annually to roughly $140 million this year. Newspaper revenues comprise about 20 percent of the AP’s total revenue. The AP’s Curley also told Edmonds that the news organization is projecting further drop-offs between $5- and $7 million a year in 2011 and after.

So where is the money coming from? An AP rep told Edmonds the company is relying on commercial photos, software businesses and AP’s international broadcast news feeds. The latter part is getting some more attention, as the TV feeds will soon get a $30 million digital upgrade to its system.