Florida Times-Union parent GateHouse agrees to buy Gannett

The combination creates a media company of 250 daily newspapers.

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  • | 4:30 p.m. August 5, 2019
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The parent company of The Florida Times-Union announced an agreement Monday to acquire Gannett Co. Inc., creating a newspaper giant with more than 250 daily newspapers across the country.

New York-based New Media Investment Group Inc. operates its newspapers under the GateHouse brand. After the merger, which is expected to be completed later this year, the company will be rebranded under the Gannett name, the companies said.

New Media acquired Morris Publishing Group, which included the Times-Union, the St. Augustine Record and nine other daily newspapers, in 2017.

Gannett formerly owned a group of television stations including WTLV TV-12 and WJXX TV-25 in Jacksonville, but it spun off its broadcast group in 2015 into a separate company called Tegna Inc.

The merger comes as printed newspapers, included publications owned by New Media, have been dropping in circulation.

“New Media and Gannett believe that a digital transformation of the newspaper industry is vital to the preservation of journalism, and the merger will accelerate the combined company’s digital transformation,” the companies said in a news release.

They also said the companies “share a commitment to rationalizing costs as the media industry evolves, while continuing to invest in product development, training for newsrooms and understanding readers’ needs.”

New Media is buying Gannett for a combination of cash and stock valued at $12.06 per Gannett share, making the total value of the deal about $1.4 billion.

The merged company will be headquartered at Gannett’s offices in McLean, Virginia.