So I asked Jim Kennedy, the VP/Director of Strategic Planning at AP, to clarify some points, and this is what he sent in: ‘It’s an experiment right now to explore the impact on traffic to the news pages we host for member newspapers and broadcasters. We have a service called Custom News, which provides hosted national and international news pages for hundreds of member sites. These RSS feeds click through to those pages.
If a user picks up one of the feeds from a member site, clickthroughs will always go to that member’s version of the hosted pages. We also placed a
link to the feeds on the corporate site, which has always directed people to the Custom News pages. For now, if a user picks up a feed from the corporate site, the clickthroughs go to a generically branded AP hosted page. Soon, those clickthroughs will be ‘geo-targeted’ to members appropriate to the
user’s location. So, it’s really a strategy to drive traffic to member news sites as well as to AP news.’
Related stuff on paidcontent.org: AP’s Local Blogging Plans