USA Today publisher Gannett Co. targeted for $1.36B buyout by Digital First Media

DENVER — The publisher of USA Today has obtained a $1.36 billion buyout bid from a media group with a historical past of taking up struggling newspapers and slashing jobs.

MNG Enterprises — higher often called Digital First Media, the guardian firm to The Denver Post — stated in a letter to Gannett Co. Monday that its management staff has failed to indicate that it could possibly run the corporate successfully.

The newspaper business has shrunk and consolidated as readers ditch print papers and log on. Estimated U.S. day by day newspaper circulation, print and digital mixed, fell 11 p.c to 31 million in 2017, in accordance with the Pew Research Center. As lately as 2000, weekday subscriptions totaled 55.8 million.

In simply the final three years, employment in newsrooms has fallen 15 p.c.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report that the hedge-fund backed MNG has constructed up a 7.5 p.c stake in Gannett, and that it has been rebuffed repeatedly by the corporate a couple of sale.

Gannett stated Monday that it has obtained the supply and it’s beneath evaluate.

Gannett, primarily based in McLean, Virginia, owns dozens of newspapers together with the Record in New Jersey and the Arizona Republic along with USA Today. It additionally has a document of shopping for media firms and slashing prices.

It, like newspapers it has acquired, has confronted intense strain to take care of income and entice promoting .

Profit has been in decline for years and in November the corporate lowered its full-year expectations on weak income development in digital promoting. It can also be searching for a brand new CEO after Robert Dickey introduced plans in December to step down this 12 months.

Digital First plans supplied $12 per share for Gannett, practically 1 / 4 above its closing share value Friday of $9.75. Gannett’s shares have rebounded after a tough spell in 2018.

Digital First owns about 200 newspapers and different publications together with the Denver Post and Boston Herald. It has a popularity for stringent, painful cost-cutting. Its largest shareholder is Alden Global Capital LLC, a New York hedge fund that invests in distressed firms.

In April, The Post printed the editorial headlined “As vultures circle, The Denver Post must be saved,” calling on Alden Global Capital to promote the newspaper after it reduce 30 extra positions within the newsroom, leaving it at a fraction of its dimension only a few years in the past. Then in May, three prime figures on the Denver Post, together with its former proprietor, resigned amid finances and workers cuts.

But jobs are being slashed throughout at newspapers.

In July media firm Tronc Inc. reduce half of the New York Daily News’ newsroom workers, together with the paper’s editor in chief.

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