GateHouse Newspaper Acquires Gannett, Owner of “USA Today”

Two of the largest press groups in the United States have agreed to join in the hope that this will help them through the difficulties of an industry facing declining print editions.
GateHouse Media, a chain funded by an investment firm, offers to buy Gannett, the owner of USA Today , for $ 12.06 per share. The cash and stock transaction is valued at approximately US $ 1.4 billion. The amalgamated company would have more than 260 dailies in the United States, as well as more than 300 weekly newspapers.

Together, the two groups would form, by far, the largest newspaper company in the United States, with a print run of 8.7 million copies. The new number 2, McClatchy, only draws about 1.7 million copies, according to media expert Ken Doctor.

The two companies argued on Monday that the deal would cut costs by $ 300 million a year and accelerate their digital transformation.

Newspaper consolidation has accelerated as local newspapers struggle to expand digital activities and offset the decline in print advertising and circulation. Although newspapers with national readers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post have been successful in adding subscribers to their digital activities, local newspapers with local readership have more difficulties. Hundreds of them have ended their activities and several newsrooms have cut into their workforce.

According to a study by the University of North Carolina, the United States has lost nearly 1,800 local newspapers since 2004. According to Pew Research, the number of jobs in newsrooms decreased by a quarter between 2008 and 2018, and Layoffs continued this year.

GateHouse and Gannett are both known to have bought other papers. Consolidation allows companies to reduce costs, including layoffs in newsrooms, and centralize their operations.

Several experts said they did not expect the Justice Ministry to have a problem with the deal because both companies have newspapers in different markets.

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