Associated Press Board Approves 2.8% Hike

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(AP) The board of directors of The Associated Press on Thursday approved a 2.8% general assessment increase for members of the news cooperative, effective Jan. 6, 2002.

The increase applies to basic and supplemental services to all AP newspaper and broadcast members.

Changes in circulation, on which AP’s rates are based, also will affect the weekly assessment for some newspapers.

Donald E. Newhouse, chairman of the AP board and president of Advance Publications Inc. and of The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., said the American news media — including AP — face a great challenge in the next year serving the urgent needs of the public in an uncertain economy.

“In addition to covering the worldwide war on terrorism, which touches every community in America, AP must cover the Olympics in Salt Lake City and the 2002 elections, in which control of Congress and 36 statehouses will be at stake, and also make investments in Voter News Service in the wake of the year 2000 difficulties,” Newhouse said. “These stories, and more, will demand the best of our abilities and, especially, the undiminished depth, breadth, speed, and resourcefulness of the AP.”

Newhouse said the 2.8% assessment increase is consistent with the last decade of AP increases, which have averaged at or about inflation. Economic restraints are in place at AP, he added, and said the increase is “the minimum level AP must have to respond to the demands we put on it, demands that grow when, as now, we turn to AP to do for us things we might have done for ourselves in other times.”

The Associated Press is the world’s oldest and largest newsgathering organization, providing text, audio, graphics, video, and technology to more than 15,000 organizations worldwide. AP employs 3,700 staffers in 241 bureaus.

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