Dean Singleton blames Google

Dean Singleton, the chairman of the Associated Press (how’d that happen you ask?) and Media News—the company that owns the Bay Area News Group, which publishes the blessed Contra Costa Times—doesn’t really know where his mouth stops and his foot begins these days.

His recent plan to “protect news content from misappropriation online,” is just an ass-backwards way to tell people to stop using Google to search for news.

Doof. AP, too—apparently the last rats on the Titanic to get the memo.

AP, which is a cooperative owned by 1,400 U.S. newspapers, wants to go after Google and other online headline aggregators for misuse of all of its members’ stories, not just wire copy.

Gawker’s Valleywag wonders, “Did the AP really just say that it wanted to come up with a competitor to Google News? That’s hilarious — especially considering how, for any given AP story, you’ll find hundreds of identical copies online — posted by all of its paying customers, including newspapers and TV and radio stations.

“We can’t wait to hear Singleton presiding over a meeting to decide which member’s website gets the top link. It’s all kind of ridiculous, since Google only recently started selling advertising on Google News, and directs massive amounts of traffic to newspaper websites.”

Unfortunately Mr Singleton, coming from print, you see, bought the Bay Area newspapers not too long ago instead of Craigslist, which currently accounts for something like 97 of the top 100 classified sites on the Internet.

One helluva case of buyers’ remorse.

Meanwhile, Dean and his rapidly decreasing cohort of newspaper titans will soon meet secretly to discuss just what the heck to do with Craigslist, which is eating their breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

We wonder if item number one on the agenda will be to raise the cash that can secure the guys that can take down the Internet in 30 minutes. That would be about the only thing Dean and company can do at this point to save what equity they have left in the stinking putrid carcass of an industry they ran into the ground.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. An industry group getting together to talk about charging for content, banning unpaid inbound links, and dropping out of Google, that would not be collusion now, would it?


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  1. says

    Larry, you are right about local content. But you may be wrong about being able to get AP anywhere down the road, at least for free. Singleton and Murdoch will screw that up too, given enough time and infusions of cash from Nancy Pelosi. Theses print media barons are worse than the stodgy culture of failure at GM and Chrysler that mucked things up.

    They are already blaming Google for newspapers woes (but not mentioning Yahoo from which newspapers get $$$ and trade classifieds). What Singleton needs to do, after a good enema, is to create a web property for his papers that is fast and features content to which people would actually subscribe; like the hulu model. Lots of papers are making money. But not Dean. I wonder why.

  2. Larry Smith says

    Singleton is doing his best to hasten the demise of the Newspaper industry. Every time he acquires a paper, he gets rid of most of the local staff, leaving the paper devoid of personality and anything of local flavor.

    It’s no wonder he’s become so paranoid about his precious AP. His papers are nothing more than an AP news feed, with an occasional local story.

    What I want from the Contra Costa Times is more of Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Tanya Rose, and Theresa Harrington. As Singleton has already figured out, I can get AP anywhere.