In a new comment, a reader wrote: "There are a number of papers -- both within and outside Gannett -- threatening to drop AP. And it is possible to operate without AP. There are other sources for much of the material that AP distributes, especially sports.
"It can be considerably cheaper to buy some copy -- columnists, etc. -- from self-syndicated freelancers or syndicates than from AP. Things get tougher with politics and breaking national news, especially since Gannett News Service seems to be downsizing and McClatchy is struggling. But at the smaller papers, the emphasis has been shifting away from national news anyway.
"I don't necessarily think it's a good idea, but dropping AP would make sense for certainly smallish to mid-sized papers if they are determined to stick with current coverage plans. Why spend a fortune on AP if all the wire stories are buried in an inside section? That's not the case everywhere, but it is in many Gannett markets."
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