Saturday, May 03, 2008

More changes at AP

Mediabistro's D.C. Fishbowl was one of the first to report yesterday that Sandy Johnson was out as AP's Washington bureau chief, and it follows up with AP Exec. Editor Kathleen Carroll's internal e-mail noting another big change: AP is folding its broadcast operations into its main news chain of command.

Today, the company is announcing several changes that essentially join the once-separate broadcast units with the appropriate AP department overall. You'll hear more about that from Tom Brettingen, the chief revenue officer.

For us, it means that the news departments at the Broadcast News Center and AP Television News will report into the overall AP News department, effective immediately.

Kevin Roach, currently executive producer for Online Video, becomes acting head of all U.S.-based broadcast news operations. And Sandy MacIntyre, Director of News for APTN, will have the same role for all non-U.S. broadcast news operations. Both will report to me.

It was about three decades ago when AP's broadcast operations moved from New York and set up its own outpost in D.C. During that time not only did it kind of operate in its own orbit (though in the field there could be close cooperation between the "print" and "broadcast" folks), it created some of the cutting-edge (for its time) software for broadcast. Most recently, it's created an AP online video operation as a turnkey for member papers and other sites, though both the video player and the too-long stories (it's the Web, not TV) continue to come under criticism in various quarters.

With the AP also consolidating its editing operations (click on the AP label below for more), having just posted jobs for 13 editors in Atlanta, it's interesting to follow the twists and turns as the once-venerable news service tries to contract and find its way in the new-media world.

(Carroll's e-mail, BTW, says Johnson was offered another unspecified position inside AP and is thinking it over.)

E&P's Joe Strupp has an interesting analysis of it all.

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