How the Gannett, GateHouse merger could deepen local news crisis
Last week, shareholders at Gannett and GateHouse, the nation’s two largest newspaper chains, voted to approve the merger of the two companies. Gannett, which publishes USA Today, owns just over 100 newspapers while New Media Enterprises, GateHouse Media’s parent company, owns nearly 400 American newspapers across 39 states. When combined, the new company will own one out of every six newspapers in the United States. The deal is expected to close November 19th and has left many already concerned about America’s local journalism crisis afraid of what lies ahead.
When executives at the two companies first met to discuss the merger this past summer, they hoped to save $200 million annually by combining. When the deal was announced in August, the companies said annual cost savings would add up to $300 million a year. According to some reports, however, the number discussed internally has risen yet again to $400 million annually.