The Weinstein Co Makes First-Look Programming Deal With Gannett

By | Wednesday April 2, 2014 @ 7:25am PDT

weinsteinThe agreement gives the studio opportunities to develop scripted or unscripted “multiplatform projects” from work on any of Gannett‘s TV stations, digital assets, and newspapers including USA Today. The companies will hire a development exec to lead the effort. … Read More »

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Gannett Closes Belo Deal After Meredith Agrees To Pay $407.5M For Three TV Stations

By | Monday December 23, 2013 @ 9:41am PST

That was fast. Gannett not only completed the $1.5B (not including debt) deal to buy TV station power Belo — it also announced an agreement to sell St. Louis’ KMOV just a week after it agreed to do so to win Justice Department approval Read More »

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FCC Approves Mergers For Gannett-Belo And Tribune-Local TV

By | Friday December 20, 2013 @ 11:27am PST

The TV station deals, both announced over the summer, now are cleared to close. Gannett, which owns 23 stations, will pay $1.5B (not including $715M in debt) to add Belo’s 20 outlets.Gannett Belo The owner of USA Today is … Read More »

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Justice Department Endorses Gannett-Belo Merger With Divestiture Of KMOV

By | Monday December 16, 2013 @ 11:42am PST

Gannett already owns the local NBC station in St. Louis, KSDK. Gannett BeloSo it isn’t terribly concerned about the Justice Department’s insistence that it unload “substantially all” of the assets at Belo’s local CBS station, KMOV, as a Read More »

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DirecTV And Time Warner Cable Urge FCC To Block Gannett Purchase Of Belo

UPDATE, 7:50 AM: Gannett has a response for critics who asked the FCC to reject its acquisition plan with Belo. “This transaction is entirely consistent with all FCC rules, policies and precedent, and will bring substantial benefits to the public,” the company says.


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Gannett’s Deal With Belo Sends Stocks Soaring For TV And Newspaper Companies

By | Thursday June 13, 2013 @ 2:36pm PDT

The $1.5B acquisition agreement changed a lot of investors’ minds about how much companies in the sector are worth. Gannett was up 34% to $26.60, the highest it’s been in more than five years and increasing its … Read More »

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Gannett Agrees To Buy Belo For $1.5B, Making It The No. 4 Owner Of TV Affiliates

By | Thursday June 13, 2013 @ 4:40am PDT

With this deal, Gannett — which is already the top owner of NBC affiliates — will also have the No. 1 independent CBS station group and become No. 4 for ABC. It will control 43 stations, up from 23, that will reach about a third of the country including 21 of the 25 largest markets. The news has already propelled Belo shares +27% in pre-market trading while Gannett’s +14%. Gannett is the nation’s largest newspaper owner with properties including USA Today, but has been eager to diversify as the print business continues to decline. CEO Gracia Martore calls the Belo deal “another important step in the process” that will leave it with “one of the largest, most geographically diverse and network-balanced TV station groups in the country.” It agreed to pay $13.75 for each share of Belo, which closed Wednesday at $10.73. If you add in Belo’s $715M in debt, the enterprise value of the deal comes to $2.2B. Despite the additional financial burden, Gannett says it can continue with its plans to repurchase its shares and pay a dividend while it “expects to promptly pay down the debt associated with this transaction and maintain significant financial flexibility going forward.” The companies expect the deal to close by year end after it’s reviewed by the FCC and antitrust officials.

Gannett’s agreement to buy Belo is part of a consolidation wave in broadcasting: For example, last week Media General said it will merge with Young Broadcasting and before that Sinclair unveiled plans to buy several smaller groups including Fisher Communications. Many sellers see this as a good time to bail out of a mature business that’s struggling to keep viewers from rivals on pay TV and the Internet. But buyers typically say that broadcasting should continue to grow, especially as stations raise the retransmission consent fees they collect from pay TV distributors. Those payments could rise to $6.1B in 2018 from $2.4B last year, SNL Kagan projects.

Here’s today’s release from Gannett and Belo with additional details about the terms: Read More »

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R.I.P. Al Neuharth

By | Friday April 19, 2013 @ 4:30pm PDT

Al Neuharth, former Gannett chairman and founder of USA Today, died today from complications of a fall at his home in Cocoa Beach, FL. He was 89. Neuharth’s death was reported by USA Today and the Newseum, which … Read More »

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DirecTV And Gannett Reach Last Minute Retransmission Agreement

By | Saturday December 1, 2012 @ 7:54am PST

Gannett offers no details, except that it has “reached an agreement” that will enable DirecTV to continue retransmitting signals from its 23 television stations. Gannett had warned viewers that a “signal disruption” was possible if the companies remained … Read More »

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Will Gannett’s TV Stations Go Dark On DirecTV?

By | Thursday November 29, 2012 @ 12:20pm PST

Here we go again. The biggest independent distributor of NBC programming has begun to air crawls and announcements warning DirecTV subscribers of “the possibility of a signal disruption” after November 30 when the programming carriage agreement for its 23 stations expires. … Read More »

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Gannett Beats Q3 Earnings Estimates With Help From Olympics And Political Ads

By | Monday October 15, 2012 @ 5:49am PDT

Television stations were the star performers for Gannett, helping to overcome weak results in its core newspaper business to edge past Wall Street’s expectations for Q3. The company reported net income of $148.6M, up 32.9% vs the period last … Read More »

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Dish Network And Gannett Reach Retransmission Agreement

By | Monday October 8, 2012 @ 7:05am PDT

UPDATE, 7:10 AM: The announcement, without details, hit literally a minute after I posted the story below about the companies’ decision to extend their negotiations. The companies simply say that they “have reached an agreement regarding Dish Network’s continued retransmission of Gannett stations.” 

PREVIOUS, 7:05 AM: The old contract that enabled Dish Network to offer programming from Gannett stations in 19 markets expired at midnight. But Dish customers continue to see them: The companies said this morning that “both sides have agreed to extend the deadline by several hours” to work out a new agreement. Dish said on Friday that it had agreed to a 200% increase in the fees it pays to carry stations controlled by Gannett. The increase is “the same as our closest direct competitor” — presumably DirecTV. Read More »

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Gannett Beats Q2 Earnings Forecasts With Help From Political TV Ads

By | Monday July 16, 2012 @ 5:48am PDT

Gannett typically kicks off the earnings season for media companies. And while the story it tells this morning for Q2 is far from cheery — revenues and profits are down for the No. 1 newspaper publisher — it’s also not as bad as Wall Street feared. The company reported net income of $135.6M, down 18.1% vs the period last year, on revenues of $1.31B, -2.1%. The revenue figure is slightly short of the $1.32B analysts projected. But earnings per share, excluding special items for this year and last year, came in at 56 cents, ahead of the consensus forecast of 52 cents. Gannett’s broadcasting unit, which includes 23 TV stations, provided most of the good news. Its revenues were up 11.4% to $205.4M — including a $9M boost from political ads. But even if you factor out political spots, ad sales would have been up 6.2% with strong demand from auto makers, the company says. Gannett forecasts that ad sales in Q3 will be up “in the low-thirties… benefiting from the Summer Olympic Read More »

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Media Stocks Caught In Downdraft As Fears Of European Default Grow

The trading day ended with a thud. The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 wound up -2.1% as word spread that Germany might balk at a proposal to help bail out debt-laden members of the European Union including Greece and … Read More »

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TV Station Groups Unite To Offer Social Networking And Info To Mobile Devices

By | Tuesday November 15, 2011 @ 8:32am PST

The partnership involves big names in local TV including Belo, Cox, E.W. Scripps, Gannett, Hearst, and Media General. They want to enhance TV viewing beginning in early 2012 by offering an app that enables Apple or Android mobile devices to automatically detect what you’re watching. The stations then would feed additional info about the shows — including local and syndicated fare — as well as opportunities to connect with other viewers. Yes, they’ll also send ads to your device. Here’s how they describe the free service, to be called ConnecTV:

Read More »

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Media Stocks Off To Rough Start Amid New Doubts About Greek Bailout

Everyone’s reacting today to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s startling decision to hold a referendum on the deal cut last week to save his country’s economy. The agreement is unpopular — lenders would wipe out about half of Greece’s debt … Read More »

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Gannett Shares -8.5% In Mid-day Trading Following Dreary 3Q Report

By | Monday October 17, 2011 @ 5:43am PDT

The results were ugly, but no worse than analysts already forecast. Net income attributable to Gannett came in at $99.8M, down 1.6% vs last year’s 3Q, on revenues of $1.26B, down 3.5%. Excluding special one-time charges, earnings came in at … Read More »

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Media Stocks -5.4% As Fresh Data Suggest The Economy Continues To Weaken

The bears are back. After a relatively calm week, stocks prices across the board — including in media — are tanking today following reports that point to rising unemployment and inflation, and weakness in manufacturing. An hour before … Read More »

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UPDATE: Media Stocks Down, But With Exceptions, As Overseas Debt Fears Grow

UPDATE 4:10 PM: The markets couldn’t sustain an early afternoon rally amid concerns that France might lose its AAA debt rating and that Spain or Italy might default on payments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell … Read More »

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