CNN Dumps Reuters: Start of a Trend?


Reuters’ Ken Li reports that CNN (TWX) has severed a 27 year relationship with Reuters (RTRSY)–purportedly to “cut costs and invest in its own news-gathering operation.” 

“This is all about us, not Reuters,” Ken quotes CNN spokesman Nigel Pritchard as saying. “This is about content ownership.  Everything is changing and content ownership is king.” 

Given that CNN will reportedly continue to use Associated Press content, we can probably translate Nigel’s explanation as: “Reuters refused to budge when we told them to cut prices, so we told them to stuff it.  Will they come back?  Who knows?  Who cares?  For now, we’ll make do with the cheaper AP.  Those wire services all cover the same crap anyway.”

The FT cites a memo from Reuters’ Chris Ahearn that supports this view:  Chris Ahearn president of Reuters Media, told staff that the two sides failed to reach an agreement after extensive talks, and held out hope that the relationship could be restored. “In no way is this a reflection of the value placed upon Reuters editorial quality by CNN or the work that Reuters has done for them,” Mr Ahearn wrote.  The FT says Reuters was paid less than $10m a year by CNN.