The Gazette is leaving the Associated Press

Membership with the AP will end April 1

The Gazette building located at 500 Third Ave. Southeast in Cedar Rapids. Photo taken Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 in downtown
The Gazette building located at 500 Third Ave. Southeast in Cedar Rapids. Photo taken Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 in downtown Cedar Rapids. (Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

The Gazette is ending its membership with the Associated Press come April 1.

This is not a decision we’ve made lightly. We have history with AP. We’ve been a member for decades. Joe Hladky, chairman of The Gazette Co. board, has served on the Associated Press board. We’ve mulled this decision for four years. The most recent process began when former editor Lyle Muller delivered the required two-year cancellation notice. Months of discussion with AP and among Gazette editors preceded the final decision.

The news business is evolving at what feels like lightning speed. Longtime media companies like ours are working at a furious pace to evolve, too. So we’re looking at everything we’ve traditionally done and considering its cost, value and strategic alignment with where we want to go.

We’re looking for responsiveness and creativity in solutions that meet our audience’s needs. AP managers told us maybe later this year or next they’ll be ready to talk about new options. We’re not waiting.

And we’re not alone in this move. The Chicago Tribune left AP in January, as did six other Tribune newspapers.

Over the next week, Associated Press content will be phased out of The Gazette.

We will meet reader interest in national and international news with wire services by Reuters, Washington Post-Bloomberg and McClatchy. We’ve also added Harvard Business Review content to the mix, via the New York Times Syndicate.

The Gazette is a longtime subscriber of Washington Post-Bloomberg and McClatchy services, both of which provide quality national and world news.

Reuters, well-respected for its international reporting and its photography, also impressed us with its strategic growth in U.S. news reporting and sports coverage. Reuters also will provide The Gazette’s weekday stocks. (See today’s Business 380 section for a sample and primer.)

We firmly believe that Gazette readers will not suffer a drop in quality or quantity of national and world news with these changes.

We have not found a replacement for the Today in History column, but we will serve the history buffs among Gazette readers with the locally relevant Time Machine feature on Sundays.

The Gazette will continue to bring readers news from around the state as well. We remain committed to the strategic partnerships we have with Iowa newspapers. We hope to grow and strengthen such relationships as well.

To the editors of other Iowa papers: If you miss Gazette content after we leave AP, contact us. My email address is below. We’re happy to collaborate and share. We believe firmly that newspapers are stronger together.

The Gazette is in this for the long haul. We vow to grow and change and adapt, because we love this community and want to serve its information needs for a long time to come.--- Annette Schulte is managing editor of The Gazette. Contact:

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