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GateHouse and Gannett agree to merge


GateHouse and Gannett are on the verge of becoming the biggest newspaper company in the US. GateHouse announced Monday that the two companies have agreed to merge, meaning that the Democrat & Chronicle, the Rochester Business Journal, the Canandaigua Daily Messenger, the Daily Record, and USA Today will all have the same owner.

GateHouse — technically its parent company, New Media Investment Group — will acquire Gannett under the terms of the agreement. Gannett shareholders will, for each share they own, receive $6.25 in cash and 0.5427 of a share in New Media Investment Group, according to a press release.

Both companies have print media roots, but the press release from New Media plays up the digital news and marketing operations. The release says the merger will "accelerate the combined company's digital transformation," allow for efficiencies generating  $275 million to $300 million worth of savings annually, and allow for newsroom investments.

"Uniting our talented employees and complementary portfolios will enable us to expand our comprehensive, hyperlocal coverage for consumers, deepen our product offering for local businesses, and accelerate our shift from print-centric to dynamic multimedia operations," New Media Chairman and CEO Michael Reed says in the release.

GateHouse is known for a near-constant acquisition of papers; it bought the Akron Beacon Journal in May and sold its Alaska holdings to the Beacon Journal's owner. The company also has a reputation for consolidating operations where possible, which often leads to staff cuts. It merged some operations at the RBJ and Daily Record after it picked up the RBJ in 2016.