Shareholders of Gannett Co. – which publishes newspapers in numerous U.S. markets including The Journal News in White Plains, and the national newspaper USA TODAY – and New Media Investment Group Inc., have approved the merger of the two companies. The shareholder approval was announced Nov. 14.
Today, Gannett CEO Paul Bascobert sent a memo to all Gannett employees. It said, in part, “Great news! Our shareholders voted in favor of combining New Media Investment Group and Gannett. New Media shareholders voted in favor as well. We expected to close the transactions next Tuesday, November 19. Outstanding teams worked on this effort and I want to thank them all.”
Bascobert told the Gannett employees that he would have more to say next week after the closing takes place. The merged company will use the name Gannett and will have at least 260 titles published daily as well as numerous weekly titles. Bascobert was expected to lead the new Gannett company.
In a news story, USA TODAY said that the merged company hopes to save from $275 million to $300 million in costs within a two-year period. It also characterized the transaction as “New Media’s $1.13 billion acquisition of Gannett.”
In a joint news release issued by Gannet and New Media, Michael Reed, New Media’s chairman and CEO, said, “This combination will create the leading U.S. print and digital news organization with deep local roots and national scale. Together, we will be stronger, with a more viable path to growth for our shareholders and employees, while sustaining journalism in hundreds of markets across the country and embracing the services we provide to small and midsized businesses nationally. We are extremely excited to embark upon this new chapter together as the new Gannett.”