AP Boss: CNN Wire Service Is “Remarkably, Abysmally Written”


Editors from 30 newspapers are going to Atlanta to hear about CNN’s new wire service, which is supposed to be a cheaper alternative to the Associated Press.

During a Webcast for employees, AP president and CEO Tom Curley identified CNN Wire — and the trend it represents, that is, customers becoming competitors — as one of the three main challenges facing the nonprofit corporation, along with the economy and newspapers’ ill-health.

But if CNN (TWX) takes AP business, it won’t be because it’s a better project, Curley told employees.

“The current CNN wire, if you look at it truly is still, and remarkably, abysmally written,” said Curley. “However, they’re interviewing A.P. people, we know, and that can be transformed. And if you have enough money and you have enough ego and enough desire, you can fix that in a hurry.”

CNN Wire, as the service will be called, will also compete with Bloomberg News and Thomson Reuters. It will syndicate Web videos, columns and TV transcripts, but unlike the AP, not photos.

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