AP to bolster coverage, offer more affordable rates
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AP to bolster coverage, offer more affordable rates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Associated Press is taking steps to bolster its news coverage while also offering more affordable rates, the AP's president and CEO told a group of news executives on Tuesday.

Gary Pruitt, CEO and president of The Associated Press, speaks to the Newspaper Association of America, Tuesday, March 17, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

CEO and president Gary Pruitt said the AP is working to shore up its staff, put more stories on the wire, improve its news coverage and invest more in video, a burgeoning need in a digital world.

"I know firsthand the business pressures you're under, and AP will strive to be a good partner for you," Pruitt said at the Newspaper Association of America conference in Nashville.

Over the past seven years, the AP has reduced assessments by 40 percent while also offering more choices and supplemental services to customers. More changes are in the offing, Pruitt said, as AP works to give members a "meaningful incentive" if they agree to longer-term commitments.

He did not elaborate but said details would be forthcoming. However, he did mention that among the changes would be providing more levels of service for the AP's photo report, which produces 3,000 photos every day.

The AP is also hiring more than a dozen journalists specifically devoted to producing and distributing member content, freeing up other AP journalists to produce more original coverage. The move follows the AP's creation of a team of journalists devoted to state government accountability coverage, leveraging its presence in all 50 statehouses, and the push to produce more data-driven stories that allow members to produce a localized version of coverage. This year, the Associated Press Media Editors and AP also have teamed up to produce in-depth coverage exposing shortcomings in the nation's infrastructure.

Last year, the AP hired more than 50 journalists to bolster the domestic news operation.

"We are committed to remaining a good partner through thick and thin," Pruitt said.