By: Debra Gersh
CEO tells members of new services, reports on revenue
DESPITE THE COST of covering global events from Somalia, the former Yugoslavia and hurricane-ravaged Florida?not to mention the quadrennial presidential election and Olympic games?the Associated Press finished 1992 slightly above budget.
At the annual AP members meeting, held during the Newspaper Association of America conference in Boston, AP chief executive officer Louis D. Boccardi reported the 1,549-member wire service’s revenue for 1992 as just under $350 million.
“”Our efforts to develop non-traditional revenue continue through services and technology sales, and this area is expected to provide 27% of the cooperative’s $370 million budgeted revenue in 1993,”” according to Boccardi.
“”Our revenue for 1992 was nearly $350 million, up from $329 million the year before, and we finished the year with an operating net slightly better than budget,”” he reported.
Boccardi also outlined a number of AP technology advances, including a new service called AP Photo Express, which will deliver non-AP photos from third-party providers to members.
The new service, slated for inauguration May 1, “”is made possible by our creation of the PhotoStream digital delivery network and the commencement of compressed transmissions on that network,”” Boccardi said.
“”We know that PhotoStream and the AP Leaf darkroom have combined to make it possible for color users to produce the most colorful newspapers ever as we all work to the common goal of retaining and increasing readership,”” he said. “”Our decision to leave in at AP expense the second disk drive in the photo desk’s file server is another illustration of our desire to make this new system as useful and as economically attractive as possible. The second drive doubles your storage.””
The AP Leaf Preserver, which will allow for electronic photo archiving, is currently in five beta sites and should be available for general installation later this year, according to Boccardi, who explained that the archiving system runs on a non-proprietary hardware and software platform, the IBM Risc 6000 series.
The MacLeaf Archive is currently available.
He also announced plans for an AP electronic archive so members can retrieve photos from the AP library.
AP’s pagination offering, Agenda, which is a full page devoted to a different subject each month, will be expanded in May to a weekly business page devoted to personal finance, as well as four rotating weekly pages on automobiles, gardening, the home and pets.
Although he declined to elaborate, Boccardi said the AP “”made some very important strides forward in the area of financial tables . . . providing the most informative, most flexible stock table information in the industry.””
Last year, the AP added new information to its financial market tables and developed a new version of its SelectStocks tables, Boccardi said.
He also pointed out new services for smaller members, including a local news dial-in service.
Also under way this year is a plan to sharpen statehouse coverage.
On a somber note, Boccardi remembered Sharon Herbaugh, AP chief of bureau in Pakistan, who was killed the week before in a helicopter crash a hundred miles from Kabul.
“”News was Sharon’s passion,”” he said. “”One of her bosses back in Texas once described her as someone who couldn’t wait for the next hurricane. She died chasing that hurricane, or its Afghan equivalent, at age 39.
“”We will miss her words but even more her spirit,”” Boccardi said.nE&P
? Louis D. Boccardi
? photo by Scott Bryant
? “”Our revenue for 1992 was nearly $350 million, up from $329 million the year before, and we finished the year with an operating net slightly better than budget,”” he reported.