Gannett, a nationwide network of 200 local newspapers and USA Today, announced Tuesday that it would no longer use the Associated Press (AP) content.

The change will take place on March 25.

In Alabama, Gannett owns the Montgomery Advertiser, the Tuscaloosa News and The Gadsden Times.

AP furnishes Gannett and other subscribers with state news; national news; international news; sports results and stories; the AP sports polls, including college football and basketball rankings; election results; photos; video; opinion columns and other content.

Gannett has a daily feature named "Sports Extra." It consists mostly of AP sports news. No announcement has been made about how Gannett and its three Alabama papers would continue it.

The news staff of the three Gannett newspapers in Alabama had already been shrinking for years. No announcements have been made about whether the papers will reverse course and begin rebuilding local news staff to make up for the loss of content from AP.

Gannett said in a statement Tuesday: “This decision enables us to invest further in our newsrooms and leverage our incredible USA TODAY Network of more than 200 newsrooms across the nation, as well as USA TODAY, to reach and engage more readers, viewers, and listeners.” 

Natalie Korach of TheWRAP said Tuesday: 

“The news ends a deep and decades-long relationship between the world’s largest news organization and the publisher of what would become – and still is – the nation’s most widely distributed print newspaper. For years, editors at the AP generated items for USA Today’s famous ‘News From Around Our 50 States’ page; AP news, reviews and photos have been a staple in Gannett-owned local morning and afternoon editions for generations.”

Mike Davis, a New Jersey reporter for a Gannett-owned paper, said: “If you believe they’re actually going to hire journalists with AP savings, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.”

In recent years, Gannett has made significant layoffs of hundreds of news staffers at their 200 local newspapers, including the three in Alabama.

The Montgomery Advertiser announced on March 5 that its daily printing and packaging will close this coming May. The production of the Advertiser will move to Jackson, Mississippi.  

The Gannett change may also be a life-endangering blow to AP, which depends on memberships for revenue. AP is a non-profit collective. The loss of 201 subscribers plus some associated news outlets is the largest single revenue loss in AP history.

The dropping of AP by Gannett is one more step in the decline of printed newspapers. In 2023, three large Alabama newspapers that utilized AP ceased publication of printed newspapers and went to online news distribution. They were the former Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register and Huntsville Times.

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at

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