Staff at the Associated Press were yesterday told via a memo from AP CEO Tom Curley that the company was proposing to freeze the defined benefit pension plan at its current level, according to a copy of the memo posted by Jim Romenesko on Poynter.
In the note Curley adds that any future company investment in the pension would be “directed toward a defined contribution plan”.
Since I came to AP I have strived to do everything possible to keep your pension plan intact. Unfortunately, industry and economic pressures mean this is no longer possible. Nearly all media companies, as well as more than half of Fortune 100 companies, have already frozen their defined benefit plans.
This was not an easy decision. Your pension and your well-being are very important to me. As we work through these changes, we will strive to find ways to maximize your retirement benefits. Within the next two days, you will be receiving more information about our proposal and the impact it might have. Once the negotiation process is concluded, we will make sure you have more detailed information as quickly as we can.
Ah, Nieman Journalism Lab, how we love your full transcripts and audio.
Publishers must take back control of their content from search engines, aggregators and bloggers, which have become the ‘preferred customer destinations for breaking news’, the Associated Press (AP) president and chief executive Tom Curley told an industry summit in Beijing last week.
But as Nieman Journalism Lab reported on Friday, Curley was ‘far more revealing’ when he spoke without a prepared text on October 6 at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong.
Publishers must take back control of their content from search engines, aggregators and bloggers, which have become the ‘preferred customer destinations for breaking news’, the Associated Press’ (AP) Tom Curley has said at an industry summit in Beijing.
“We will no longer tolerate the disconnect between people who devote themselves – at great human and economic cost – to gathering news of public interest and those who profit from it without supporting it,” Curley said (though slightly strangely citing Wikipedia, YouTube and Facebook as key examples of threats).
Speaking separately at the event, News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch said ‘the aggregators and plagiarists’ would soon have to pay the price for using publishers’ content for free.
If publishers and news organisations don’t regain control they will pay ‘the ultimate price’ and it will be ‘the kleptomaniacs who triumph’, he added.
Tom Curley may be ‘pleased to have’ HuffPo as an AP subscriber, but he’s adamant that’s it’s time to get a ‘fair deal’ from the people who don’t have licences.
Huffington talks about Jeff Jarvis’ ‘link economy’ theory and focuses on how you monetise journalism today. “Of course you have to monetise your content, as Tom has been saying: but how do you do it?” she asks. “But are you going to do it by creating walled gardens, which is not going to work?”
“It’s not going to work because consumer habits have changed,” she says.
“Any model which creates walls is not going to work,” says Huffington. If you try ‘to just put your finger in the dike and stop happening what’s happening from happening you’re going to lose precious time,’ she adds.
‘Ride the rapids’ and find new ways to reach the consumer, she advises.
What format will the advertising take? Hopefully highly relevant and tailored to the user if it’s local news they’re consuming, but also, low cost, low barrier to the advertiser perhaps. Experiments with such ad deals, for example in the UK CN Group’s network of hyperlocal news sites, have scored some successes. And if traffic to AP’s mobile news network is as strong as suggested, there’s a real opportunity here to get local, traditional advertisers more involved in the burgeoning mobile space.