Associated Press Gets 'Wired' p. 14

By: DOROTHY GIOBBE OPENING A "NEW page in AP's history," president and CEO Louis Boccardi introduced the news cooperative's prototype for an online service that will be available to member newspapers later this year.
AP Wire is a 24-hour multimedia site on the World Wide Web, where national and international news ? complete with pictures, text, audio and video ? will be accessible through AP member newspapers.
Beta testing will begin over the next few months, and the service will be ready in the fourth quarter of this year, Boccardi said.
He added that rates for the Wire have not been set, "but it's our intention that they be very, very reasonable."
"In the long journey from the Morse key to [AP Wire] a few things have remained constant," Boccardi said. "AP's dedication to be responsive to your needs and its dedication to quality and reliability in our news. Even in cyberspace, those are going to remain our watchwords."
In addition to the demonstration of AP Wire, Boccardi's annual business address reviewed the cooperative's progress over the past year, and touched on a number of new initiatives.
Boccardi noted that AP fulfilled its promise to eliminate slow-speed news service to newspapers. The new AP Basic high-speed service is in place at 444 smaller-circulation dailies, representing 29% of AP's membership.
Boccardi said that by midyear, AP will offer smaller newspapers the AP StocksExpress, a paginated one-third page of key market indexes and over 100 local-interest stocks from which newspapers can choose.
For all members, the AP will offer a paginated weekly entertainment page called Celebrity Hot Sheet, a youth-oriented feature which will focus on young celebrities.
Paginated pages on travel and cyberspace are also coming in the months ahead, Boccardi added.
According to the cooperative's financial review, in 1995, AP's revenue totaled $390 million, up from 1994's $371 million. Continuing investments ? mainly APTV and AP AdSend, lead to a net after-tax loss of $25.8 million. Deducting that total from AP's operating account of $91.3 million, left $65.5 million in the operating account at the end of 1995.
?("In the long journey from the morse key to[AP Wire] a few things have remained constant. AP's dedication to be responsive to you needs and its dediction to quality and reliability in our news. Even in cyberspace, those are going to remain our watchwords.") [Caption]
?(-Louis Boccardi, president and CEO, Associated Press) [Photo & Caption]


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