The Associated Press announced Aug. 6, 1999, it had acquired United Press International's broadcast news contracts, which covered services to more than 400 radio and television stations in the United States.
UPI is getting out of the broadcast news business in an effort to reposition itself in more specialized markets, particularly the internet, said Grey Burkhart, UPI publisher.
The purchase price was not disclosed.
The news organizations said the sale was effective immediately.
UPI's broadcast affiliates are to be moved to AP services over the next 90 days. Of the 400 UPI subscribers, 352 -- 346 radio stations and six television stations -- are not currently AP members.
The AP, the oldest and largest general news organization in the world, serves 3,700 radio stations and more than 800 television outlets in the United States with print, audio, video and graphic services.
"We welcome the opportunity to serve these broadcasters and their listeners and viewers with a range of AP's fast, accurate and reliable news services," said Louis D. Boccardi, AP's president and chief executive officer.
"AP's mandate is to provide news and information to our members and subscribers in all its forms, new media and traditional media," Boccardi said. "We're a competitive full-service news company and we're going to stay that way."
UPI President Arnaud de Borchgrave said the deal fits the company's new focus. "What UPI is doing is transitioning out of the traditional conventional news agency business and positioning itself for the 21st century," he said in Washington.
De Borchgrave said 47 UPI radio newspeople throughout the United States would lose their jobs as a result of the deal.
James R. Williams III, vice president and director of AP Broadcast Services in Washington, said UPI approached the AP about purchasing its broadcast customer agreements.
"This acquisition allows AP to strengthen its coverage of state news and expand its customer base," he said.
The AP entered the radio news business in 1941 when it established a news wire specially written for broadcast use. In 1974, it launched the AP Radio Network to provide hourly newscasts, sportscasts and business programs. In 1980, AP radio became the first radio network to be delivered by satellite.
In 1994, the AP launched APTV, an international video news service based in London. The service was renamed APTN, Associated Press Television News, in 1998 after AP purchased the WTN video agency. It also launched All News Radio, a digital 24-hour all news radio network.
The AP, a membership cooperative founded in 1848 and based in New York, provides news, photos, graphics, audio, video and internet services to more than 15,000 outlets around the world.
Through its local station and network members, AP news reaches more radio listeners and television viewers than any other news source.