Many Newspapers Underwhelmed By CNN’s New Wire Service; Plans Call For Fewer Than 30 Stories A Day

The newspaper editors who were invited to CNN’s Newspaper Summit last week, which showcased the cable channel’s new wire service, have given the Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) company high marks for reaching out. But many appear to have been less than impressed with the small amount of stories that will be available on the wire. No formal plan or details were offered by CNN, according to E&P. The summit was a three-day event and was attended by representatives of 30 newspapers, many of whom have previously voiced complaints about the Associated Press’ wire service membership rates. CNN offered its guests no details at all about how it would match AP’s pricing. Instead, the idea was to canvass editors and ask them to help design the service. In particular, the editors want more photo options and access to national, international and breaking news. Execs told attendees that more details about the service packages would be offered after the new year. While AP execs have acknowledged the potential threat from CNN’s moves, the summit’s attendees say CNN made a point of saying that it had no intention of trying to displace the more established wire service.

NYT: One reason CNN execs probably sought to downplay the competition with the AP is that the cable company’s wire can’t promise anything near the AP’s comprehensive news coverage. According to Ryan Pitts, the online director for Washington State’s The Spokesman-Review, who used Twitter, to discuss what has happening at the summit, CNN’s service will offer less than 30 national, business, and foreign news stories daily, which the editors seemed to be a little concerned about. CNN’s argument is that papers only want “the best of the best” stories anyway. In addition to Tweeting those details, Pitts, who Twitters here, also provided some color in his coverage of the summit, giving CNN’s restrooms “three stars.”