Associated Press board approves 10 percent rate cuts in 2010 for local TV stations

Friday, July 24, 2009

AP board approves rate cuts for local TV stations

NEW YORK — The board of directors of The Associated Press approved a 10 percent cut Thursday in the rates that local TV stations will pay in 2010 for text stories.

The amount of the reduction will vary from station to station depending on the level of services received.

The not-for-profit news cooperative earlier said it will cut fees by $35 million for U.S. newspapers in 2010 — on top of a $30 million reduction that took effect this year.

The company did not say how much revenue it would lose from the latest cuts for broadcasters, although CEO Tom Curley said last month that the AP will reduce fees by a total of $45 million for newspapers and broadcasters next year.

The rate cuts come as newspapers and broadcasters grapple with the longest U.S. recession since World War II, as well as marketing trends that are shifting more ads to less-expensive alternatives on the Internet.

The AP said rates for radio stations were adjusted several years ago to increase discounts, among other things.

AP’s revenue is expected to fall to about $700 million this year from $748 million in 2008, and another sharp decline is forecast for 2010.

To compensate for its sliding revenue, the AP, which employs about 4,100 people, plans to reduce its payroll by 10 percent before year’s end. The company has said that likely will require layoffs.

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