Saturday, April 19, 2008

MediaNews papers want more help from AP

MediaNews Group, which has been cutting newsroom jobs at its 13 dailies in the Bay Area, is asking the AP for more help covering regional and state stories. That's according to an article in the Spring edition of the Associated Press Managing Editor (APME) newsletter by Martin G. Reynolds, editor of the MediaNews-owned Oakland Tribune. Reynolds' article is about complaints newspaper editors across the country have about the AP, including this from the Bay Area:
    "I have concerns how AP fills in the gap for regional and state coverage," says Kevin G. Keane, Contra Costa Times executive editor and vice president of news for the Bay Area News Group [a unit of MediaNews].

    "It doesn't pay attention to its regional audience."

    As an example, Keane points to AP's coverage of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who he says AP writes about for Japan or New York, ignoring how the governor's policies impact the Bay Area.

    The city of San Francisco is one area where the Bay Area News Group does not deploy reporters and could use AP's support. "I don't believe we get it," Keane says.

    Keane understands that AP is attempting to expand its brand, but in doing so neglects its roots.

    "AP is supposed to be a collection of all of us," he says. "When it puts on national and international hats, do they lose sight of their original mission?"
Coincidentally, the chairman of the AP's board of directors is Dean Singleton, the CEO of MediaNews.


Anonymous said...

Does this mean Dean Singleton is going to push AP members to pay more for AP service? If the news service is going to fill in the gaps created in regional coverage when Singleton's outfit downsized its own staff, then AP will have to hire more reporters and editors.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight: MediaNews has a combined paid circulation of about 600,000 in the Bay Area, and yet they can't assign even ONE reporter to cover San Francisco? Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

So, Dean Singleton and Media News go through major acqusitions and mergers, then a massive laying-off and consolidation of its news staff, THEN has the nerve to complain that AP isn't covering enough local news for them?
Bold-faced chutzpah isn't a new quality of DS, but this reaches a new low. Pitiful.

Anonymous said...

If it weren't for the AP, the typical MediaNews paper would have a lot of blank pages. Local news isn't exactly a strength of MNG.

Anonymous said...

Medianews has massive layoffs and then complains that a different news service isn't filling in the gaps for them. hypocritical bullshit at its finest.

Anonymous said...

If MediaNews can't afford to send one reporter to SF, you've got to wonder how long it will be until they go into bankruptcy.