Changes in AP Latin American, Caribbean operations

AP News
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Posted: Nov 11, 2009 5:04 PM

The Associated Press on Wednesday announced changes in its Latin America and Caribbean operations, closing a service limited to Puerto Rican news within Puerto Rico while adding editors and reporters elsewhere for the expanding Spanish market in the Americas.

The news agency will retain its bureau in San Juan dedicated to gathering news of wider interest from the U.S. territory and the surrounding Caribbean region. It will also continue to produce a daily news calendar in Puerto Rico for AP newspapers and broadcasters.

The decision to close the local service was made reluctantly due to its unprofitability in recent years, said Senior Managing Editor John Daniszewski. It served a small number of newspapers and broadcasters with local news, and the revenue did not justify the staffing and other costs.

Stories of interest to the United States, the region and the world will continue to be covered in both English and Spanish from San Juan and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, he said.

In addition, the AP maintains its bureau in Havana and some Caribbean coverage is provided from bureaus in Florida, Mexico and Central America.

The AP is adding to its overall Americas Spanish-language coverage with two additional Spanish editors in Mexico City and correspondents in Washington and Santo Domingo.

"These moves represent a strategic realignment of resources to better serve our clients throughout the Americas," said Latin America Editor Niko Price, speaking from Buenos Aires.

AP, which has offices across the Americas, has provided news in Spanish since 1941, principally for Latin America and Spanish-language news outlets in the United States.

The Puerto Rico news service dated to 1966. The staff was notified that final closure is planned for later this year. In all, eight full- or part-time positions were eliminated, including seven journalists. Four positions are being added elsewhere.

Founded in 1846, AP is the world's largest source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world's population sees AP news, which is distributed to all media platforms and formats.

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