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? 


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.


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

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

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.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

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.

Note: Security provided by INS