Monday, September 12, 2011

GCI confirms buying US Presswire photo service

[Updated at 3:09 p.m. ET. Corporate publicist Robin Pence has now confirmed the deal, according to Jim Romenesko's blog. No purchase price or other terms, however.]

Earlier: Published reports last week of Gannett's under-the-radar deal to buy sports photo syndicate US Presswire appear accurate, according to documents filed with the Florida Secretary of State's Office.

This document shows the Atlanta company changed its mailing address last Wednesday to that of Corporate's offices in McLean, Va., the same day two photo trade blogs reported news of a deal between the companies.

Neither company has yet to make a purchase public on their websites, however.

US Presswire reported the address change to Florida's secretary of state because the company has been registered in the state since 2003, a year before its launch, according to this document.

The company contracts with scores of freelance sports photographers, many of whom work on spec, with no promise of getting paid. That allows it to sell images at bargain-basement prices. GCI has been turning to more low-cost content syndicates over the past year.

Joining USAT Sports Network?
Sports photographers continue to debate the impact of a deal at the Sports Shooter trade site.

In its report Wednesday, one of the blogs -- Photo Business News & Forum -- cited as its sources individuals who participated in a conference call Tuesday night, where a deal was discussed between management and photographers. Photo Business suggested a deal could be part of the nascent USA Today Sports Network, a new venture the board of directors approved in July.

But some Gannett Bloggers grew skeptical when GCI and Presswire didn't announce an agreement after it was reported here. "Something is a little weird about this,'' wrote Anonymous@11 a.m. "There's still nothing on either on the Presswire or Gannett websites. The only source is the multiple photo blogs and websites that broke the news. I'm starting to wonder if something is holding it back."

Today, Photo Business reported the Florida document filing.

Any deal would follow a trial agreement, under which US Presswire has been supplying photos to GCI, including USA Today, since March 2010.

The USAT sports network is led by President Tom Beusse. Hired in January, he is to be responsible for overseeing business and strategy for national sports initiatives across USA Today, as well as Gannett’s 82 daily newspaper properties, 23 broadcast television stations, and


  1. If you are a staff photog for a Gannett paper, read this:

  2. This deal would mean Gannett wasn't merely doing business with content farms like DemandMedia -- it's getting into ownership of them.

  3. Jim,
    Have you heard anything regarding the meeting mentioned in the above post?

  4. 1:20. Do you mean the telephone conference? No.

  5. How is buying US Presswire any different than buying Getty Images? What makes them a "content farm"? That term implies low quality, which having worked with them before, I can assure you it's not the case. It may not be at the same level as Getty, but as far as sports images go there's more options and typically better quality than the Associated Press.

  6. I believe the term "content farm" refers to how much the photographers are being paid - in some cases nothing.

  7. From a US Press photographer I talked with, 9/1 they will pay $100. per assignment regardless of length of time. That will go up to $125 on January 1. No paid expenses for anything. They say they keep there copyrights and split 50/50 on magazine sales. Not sure how that works as GNET keep all rights with freelancers now.

  8. Bad news for USAT photographers, I'd guess. Of course, US Presswire photos are almost always so much better than USAT's, but still.... probably cheaper to just use a network of stringers.

  9. US Presswire's photogs are paid mileage if more than 100 miles one way.

  10. The company contracts with scores of freelance sports photographers, many of whom work on spec, with no promise of getting paid.



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