Will AP Suffer As Papers Turn Local?

ApThe publisher of the Idaho Falls Post Register gave AP notice of his intention to drop the wire service. Editor & Publisher explains that publisher Roger Plothow’s falling out was over AP’s rate structure:

“I’ll put my cards on the table — I’m not sure how we’re going to pull this off. While the AP’s value to us has been severely diminished over the years, it still does provide a handful of services that we haven’t been able to find elsewhere — yet. I’m betting, however, that it’s only a matter of time. More likely, we’ll use that time to become essentially 100 percent local, which is probably where we’re headed eventually anyway.” . . . .

Plothow also called his $114,000 assessment for 2009 “the worst value for anything we purchase, since we use so little of what we’re paying for.”

AP provides papers too much material to make for a simple separation. In the not-too distant past, before anyone ever heard of blogs or citizen journalism, such a move would’ve been virtually unthinkable. The Post-Register’s move is worth watching.

(Hat tip: Romenesko)