The Australian Associated Press newswire appears to have been saved from closure, with a sale of the service expected to be finalised by mid-June.

The Australian Associated Press (AAP) newswire appears to have been saved from closure, with its sale expected to be finalised by mid-June.
Key points:

  • The 85-year-old newswire service was expected to close after major stakeholders pulled out
  • Up to 75 editorial jobs are expected to be lost
  • AAP management has reached agreement on the terms of a sale, and expects to finalise negotiations by the end of the week

However job losses are still expected, with only 85 to 95 jobs likely to be offered to current AAP staff.
Of those roles, between 70 and 75 will be journalists, with a small number of support staff also expected to be retained.
It means about 75 journalist jobs will be lost.
In an email to staff, AAP chief executive Bruce Davidson said the business would be sold to a group of impact investors and philanthropists.
According to the email, Mr Davidson said AAP management had reached an agreement on the terms of a sale, and hoped to have final negotiations by the middle of this month.
“The new owners will continue the news agency operations to provide breaking news, public interest journalism, sports coverage and news photography to Australian media outlets and will maintain the AAP brand,” he said.
“They see this as a philanthropic venture and will have the patience to work on new commercial opportunities to aim for long-term viability.”
Chief executive Bruce Davidson said the new newswire would not support the current complement of staff.(ABC News: Rachel Pupazzoni)
The 85-year-old agency was slated to close, after major shareholders News Corp and Nine decided to pull the pin on the business in March.
“Without the revenue from News Corp or Nine, the new newswire will not support our current complement of journalists, photographers, producers and associated staff,” Mr Davidson said.
“The process to get to this point has been arduous and frustrating, and I want to thank every one of you for your patience and understanding.
“Finally, we have an answer and a survival plan for AAP.”
Media landscape in Australia contracting
The consortium purchasing the business is led by former News Corp boss Peter Tonagh, who said the AAP’s journalism would be more important than ever going forward.
“I’m looking forward to working with the AAP team to continue its great work and to find new commercial opportunities to ensure its long-term survival,” he said.
“After consulting with staff, customers and other stakeholders, our consortium will provide more information about our future plan for AAP.”
Marcus Strom from the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance said his union would consult with AAP to protect journalists’ interests.
“Had we lost AAP, then we would all be the poorer,” he said.
“AAP Newswire provides journalism coverage in the areas that the other major news outlets either cannot or choose not to.”
AAP runs its newswire service alongside other ventures including media release distribution services.
Parliamentarians called for the newswire to be saved after news of its likely closure broke.(ABC News: Tamara Penniket)
Mr Davidson said the current owners would keep those businesses, after the journalism side of the business was sold off.
Australia’s media industry has experienced significant turmoil in recent years, and the situation was exacerbated in recent months by sharp drops in advertising revenue, prompted by the coronavirus-fuelled economic downturn.
Last week, News Corp announced it would cease printing more than 100 regional and suburban newspapers, either shifting them online or closing them altogether, costing hundreds of jobs.
It followed an announcement from Buzzfeed that it would shut down its Australian news operations. Network Ten’s news site, 10 daily, was closed despite the company having the financial backing of US media giant ViacomCBS.
Bauer Media, which prints a range of magazines, announced it would “hibernate” a number of its titles.
Pay TV provider Foxtel, of which News Corp owns a majority stake, announced jobs would also go.