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AP Launches iPhone News Reader Application

The Associated Press and more than 100 of its member newspapers are launching a service Monday that will make news stories available on Apple Inc.'s iPhone and other mobile devices.

AP had announced the Mobile News Network at its annual meeting April 14 in Washington. AP's president and chief executive, Tom Curley, said then that six newspaper companies were working to help develop the new service.

Paul Caluori, director of client content services for AP, said the service now has 107 newspapers participating, up from 18 at the time of the announcement.

The papers include The Miami Herald, the San Francisco Chronicle and the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press.

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Companies that help connect advertisers with networks of Web sites will be among the sellers of ads for the new service and will share revenues with the news providers.

The service will deliver local news from participating member newspapers and national and international news from AP. The reports will be organized by ZIP code.

Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and others also offer news services tailored for mobile devices, but Jeffrey Litvack, global product development director for AP, said the Mobile News Network would offer easier access to local news stories.

Apple offered guidance on how to best tailor the service to the iPhone but has no formal role with the product, Litvack said.

Six newspaper publishers participated in the initial setup of rules governing the service: Advance Publications Inc., Hearst Corp., Lee Enterprises Inc., McClatchy Co., MediaNews Group Inc. and Rust Communications Inc. Since then Media General Inc. and newspapers held in partnerships in California have been among those that have joined.

Caluori said that the two largest newspaper companies in the country, Gannett Co. and Tribune Co., hadn't yet decided whether to join the program and were still evaluating it.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its member news organizations. It was founded in 1846.