It's becoming more and more and more clear that the Associated Press does not like the rules of the Internet and intends to resist them. That's actually pretty predictable when you think about it, because the Internet doesn't like the AP either.
More specifically, the Internet has no place for the AP. The roles that AP played in the print media system are either unnecessary (generic wire service coverage) or downright harmful (redistributing member content) in the digital system.
The AP evolved as a cooperative of newspapers, as well as some radio and TV stations, to solve two specific problems of the pre-Internet era:
1) How does a local newspaper, with no national or international bureaus, fulfill its mission to digest daily all the world's happenings? Answer: form a cooperative, AP, where everyone shares the cost of staffing bureaus and shares in the content.
But on the Internet, that model is of little use. Online news sites succeed by focusing on one niche and creating their own unique value in covering the hell out of that niche, better than anyone else. You don't need AP content on a news website. Cover what you cover. Users will go to CNN, BBC or the like for the national/international news anyway.
2) How does a network of newspapers share important stories among each other so they may all reprint them? Answer: permit AP editors to copy or rewrite your content and send it over a wire (an actual telegraph "wire" in the early days) to other AP members. Because newspapers generally didn't compete across geographic markets, there was no harm to letting others reprint your work elsewhere, and you benefited from theirs.
On the Internet, of course, the opposite is true. We're all in one big market now, with everyone just a link away from any piece of information in the world. There is no need for a "wire" to send copies of stories around anymore, when one site can simply link to the original story on the other site.
More importantly, the wire copying causes much harm. The AP takes the unique value provided by the original site and dilutes it by making the product free for thousands of other outlets to repost, instead of sending all the traffic back to the site that created the valuable thing in the first place. The AP is the "parasitic aggregator" that it and others so often label other blogs and news sites.
So the AP's two reasons for existence don't hold up online. The AP senses this, and its leadership is going through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief (moving from Denial to Anger now, Bargaining will be next when more members start to cancel). We don't need an AP online (which is why it's laughable that AP thinks we all will be willing to license their content and pay for it).
You do your thing, I'll do mine, and we'll link to each other. No wires.