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January 31, 1994

Undated (AP) _ A summary of developments in the news industry for the week of Jan. 24-31: AP Board Approves Nov. 1 Launch of International Video News Service

NEW YORK (AP) - The Associated Press will offer international video news starting Nov. 1.

Frank A. Daniels Jr., AP chairman, said Jan. 26 the AP board of directors met and approved the budget and starting date. At its meeting last April, the board had approved AP’s entry into the video news business.

The video service, called APTV and with headquarters in London, will complement AP’s existing global newsgathering operations.

″We looked carefully at the international television news market and determined that events and industry demand have created the need for an independent, comprehensive source of global video news. We have designed APTV to meet the changing needs of international television broadcasters.

″We can do this cost-effectively, utilizing our existing bureau structures, and in a short time contributing positively to our income stream,″ Daniels said.

APTV has begun to hire a staff of experienced television journalists to work in AP’s international bureaus and London headquarters.

Video cameras, editing and feed equipment will be available in 92 bureaus in 67 countries.

Testing of the service will begin this summer.

Feeds from London will be transmitted to television news organizations throughout the world for use in their news programs.

Louis D. Boccardi, AP president and CEO, said, ″International video news gathering is a natural extension of our mission. Our goal has always been to provide coverage that no one else can match in depth, breadth and quality.″

Valuable byproducts of AP’s entry into the growing international broadcast market would be the addition of more reporters, creation of a new source of still photos from video and a new source of material for AP’s broadcast wires, Boccardi said.

″Our other service improvements and new programs will go forward as planned,″ he said.

AP provides news, photos, graphics and audio services to more than 15,000 television and radio outlets and newspapers worldwide.

Founded in 1848, AP is a member-owned news cooperative, employing more than 3,100 staffers in 235 bureaus worldwide. AP serves news organizations in 112 countries and offers its news services in six languages.

--- Religious News Service Sold to Newhouse

NEW YORK (AP) - Newhouse News Service has signed a contract to purchase Religious News Service.

RNS, a 60-year-old operation serving religious and secular publications, was purchased from the Dallas-based United Methodist Reporter. Terms were not disclosed.

Newhouse, a subsidiary of Advance Publications, is scheduled to take control of Religious News Service by July 31. The Rev. Judy Weidman, RNS executive editor, will remain with the service, but its headquarters will be moved from New York to Washington.

Established in 1934, Religious News Service provides stories and photos to some 270 clients five days a week.

″Religious News Service has a sterling reputation for independence and integrity in reporting, and we plan to continue that tradition and enhance it,″ Deborah Howell, editor of the Washington-based Newhouse News Service, said. ″The historic mission of RNS has been to serve the religious press, and we have every intention of continuing that mission.″

The Rev. Ronald P. Patterson, publisher of the United Methodist Reporter, said the company concluded it needed the services provided by Religious News Service, but it did not need to own the service.

--- Carrier Ruled Independent Contractor, Not Newspaper Employee

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A workers compensation board overturned a multimillion- dollar judgment against the Fremont Tribune, ruling that a newspaper carrier struck by a car isn’t entitled to compensation for medical bills and lost wages.

The three-member appeals board ruled that 12-year-old Jennifer Larson, who was hit by a car and suffered severe brain damage while delivering the Tribune, was an independent contractor and not an employee of the newspaper.

A lawyer representing the Larson family said Jan. 24 he would appeal the ruling.

Last March, Workers’ Compensation Judge James Monen ruled that the girl was an employee and ordered the Tribune to pay $84.97 per week in lost wages. Lawyers said the award, including cumulative interest, would have amounted to about $5 million over a normal lifetime. Medical expenses were to be decided in another trial.

Jennifer was riding her bicycle and finishing a paper route Feb. 21, 1991, when she collided with a car, leaving her in a persistent vegetative state. She shared the route with another girl, who had contracted for the route with the newspaper.

Jennifer’s parents sued Hometown Communications Inc., based in Fort Payne, Ala., owner of the Tribune.


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