Monday, January 14, 2019

Gannett For Sale?

Gannett may be on the auction block.  The Wall Street Chronicle reported today:



A hedge-fund-backed media group known for buying up struggling local papers and cutting costs has made an offer for USA Today publisher Gannett Co. GCI +21.90%

MNG Enterprises Inc., one of the largest newspaper chains in the country, has quietly built a 7.5% position in Gannett’s stock and is urging the McLean, Va., publisher to review its strategic alternatives, including a potential sale. It also is calling on Gannett to commit to a moratorium on digital investments....

In a letter to Gannett’s board, MNG said the team leading Gannett hasn’t demonstrated that it is capable of effectively running the company, citing how it has lost 41% of its value since its debut as a public company two and a half years ago.

Closely held Digital First is known for its contentious history with the newspaper industry in part because of its penchant for slashing costs. It said it has over the past few years made multiple approaches to Gannett about a deal but has been rebuffed.

It isn’t clear whether Gannett will be receptive now. On Monday, Gannett said its board would review the proposal to determine the course of action that is in the best interest of the company and shareholders.

In addition to publishing USA Today, one of the top-selling papers in the country, Gannett owns and operates dozens of other publications such as the Arizona Republic, the Record in North Jersey and the Naples Daily News in Florida. Its shares have tumbled in recent years and dropped roughly 15% in the past 12 months, leaving the company with a market value of about $1.1 billion.

The print media industry has suffered sharp revenue declines as digital advertising sales fail to keep up with drops in print advertising. This in turn has prompted a wave of consolidation among publishers looking to benefit from economies of scale and cut costs, often through layoffs. Both Gannett and Digital First Media have been active acquirers.

Digital First Media owns about 200 newspapers and publications including the Denver Post and the Orange County Register. Last year it beat out other bidders to buy the Boston Herald after the tabloid had filed for bankruptcy....

Alden, founded by Randall Smith and Heath Freeman, has more than $1 billion under management. The sometimes-activist investor is known for slashing costs at its media investments through layoffs and the use of zero-based budgeting, an approach that requires operators to justify their expenses each year.

Digital First was formed in 2013 as the result of the merger of Media News Group and the Journal Register Co. It quickly moved to unload much of its real estate holdings and printing operations and made steep staffing cuts across its titles, consolidating considerable aspects of its operations in centralized hubs.... Rest of article. 
 Will this be one more nail in the coffin for you know who? 

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Surely democrat Sam Hall can pull Gannet out of this slump-

Anonymous said...

I only get my news from the internet, TV & Jackson Jambalaya!

Anonymous said...

They do know how to run a newspaper....but into the ground. Like all newspapers today the leadership was totally blindsided by the looming giant called the internet. After awaking from a long nap the CEO's decided the first step in defeating the giant was to cut healthcare cost of all its employees except corporate leaders (pre layoff days).

I remember sitting in the conference room on Congress St when the employees were introduced to their new health insurance provider United. The poor woman they sent could not even tell us what Dr's and hospitals were in the group or if at all. What she did know was cost was going up. Gannet was a leader in uncovering all the scams and problems of United had in the past but what the hell.

A few weeks later the news leaked out that all the HQ honchos would continue with the premium BC/BS insurance. Karma is a bitch!

Anonymous said...

I guarantee they'll save more money. Only black and white ink and they'll print on toilet paper...used.

Anonymous said...

"The sometimes-activist investor is known for slashing costs at its media investments through layoffs."

Who is left to layoff at the CL?

Anonymous said...

In this digital day and age, who in their right mind would think it's a great idea to buy paper print companies up, no matter what the "deal" is. I bet you will hardly be able to get a paper newspaper in the next 15 years. Some people deserve to go bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

I heard Sam Hall is hoping Kingfish will hire him to run the weekend post radar. And all those liberal, female girls are interviewing in Boston and Vermont.

Anonymous said...

This investment firm buys newspapers and cuts operating expenses to increase profits. What the heck operating expenses does the CL still have?

coffee and cornbread said...

Explains why that rat Marshall Ramsey jumped ship.


Bah-dumm-tisss

Anonymous said...

Next cuts are at Mississippi Today. Just watch.

Anonymous said...

"What the heck operating expenses does the CL still have?"

Well, there's maintenance on that eight foot iron fence around the building. And somebody has to bring Sara Fowler a lunch bag everyday. And Sam Hall's daily long distance calls to Mitchell and Salter aren't free ya know.

Anonymous said...

Biggest shock is Clarion Ledger still print seven days a week. Rumor two years ago they were cutting back to three days a week like most of Gannett papers.

Anonymous said...

I just cancelled with C/L. Over the years as monthly subscription increased I decreased until just Thurs. and Sunday paper plus digital. Seldom received the morning papers due to many changes with delivery staff and Gannet digital seldom was up and if so didn't recognize password. So nice lady at C/L heard my compliant, said digital service had been contracted out but she was great in helping me cancel my subscription. She said the place was falling apart!

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Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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