Gannett Splits Into 2 Companies: TV, Publishing

Following similar moves of other media companies, Gannett Co. will split into two publicly traded companies -- one for its TV/digital assets and one for its publishing businesses.

Gannett doesn’t have a name yet for its broadcasting and digital business. Gracia Martore, president and chief executive officer of Gannett Co., will be chief executive officer of the company when the separation is completed.

Martore stated: "The bold actions we are announcing today are significant next steps in our ongoing initiatives to increase shareholder value by building scale, increasing cash flow, sharpening management focus, and strengthening all of our businesses to compete effectively in today's increasingly digital landscape.”

Last year, Gannett made a major move to shore up its TV business by acquiring Belo Corp. for $1.5 billion. The group will have 46 television stations that Gannett owns or services -- the largest independent station group of major network affiliates in the top 25 markets.

In a boost for its digital business, Gannett also announced it is acquiring complete ownership of Cars.com -- by acquiring an additional 73% equity interest in Classified Ventures LLC for $1.8 billion in cash. Its other large digital business includes CareerBuilder.com.

Gannett’s publishing business will retain the Gannett name. In addition to its national newspaper, USA Today, Gannett has 81 local U.S. daily publications.  Robert J. Dickey, currently president of Gannett's U.S. Community Publishing division, will become the company’s chief executive officer.

Shares of Gannett stock were up 0.3% to $34.40.

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