Gannett, which operates seven daily newspapers in New Jersey, has been sold to the New Media Investment Group/GateHouse Media, the owner of the Burlington County Times and NJBiz.
As part of the merger, GateHouse chairman and CEO Michael Reed will remain as head of the larger company.
Gannett owns The (Bergen) Record, the Asbury Park Press, the Herald News, the Courier-News, the Home News Tribune, the Courier-Post and the Daily Journal.
It is not immediately clear how many New Jersey reporters and newspaper staff will be affected by the sale, which could result in some layoffs and consolidation.
GateHouse is also in the process of purchasing the New Jersey Herald.
The deal between Gannett and GateHouse puts 14 of New Jersey’s 16 daily newspapers under the ownership of just two companies. Advance Publications owning the Star-Ledger and several other papers. Digital First Media, which launched an unsuccessful hostile takeover for Gannett earlier this year, owns the Trentonian. BH Media Group, a Berkshire Hathaway company, owns the Press of Atlantic City.
The Wall Street Journal reported on July 19 that the two media companies were mulling a merger.
Gannett shareholders will receive $6.25 in cash and 0.5427 of a New Media share for each share they currently own.
“We believe this transaction will create value for our shareholders, greater opportunities for our employees, and a stronger future for journalism. Gannett is an innovative, digitally-focused media and marketing solutions company with well-known brands worldwide. 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,” said Reed. “We are honored to become a part of Gannett’s storied history and a steward of their strong media properties into the future. We are committed to delivering significant synergies in a thoughtful manner, consistent with our shared goals for the business.”
The merger is expected to close by the end of this year.New Media Investment Group to Acquire Gannett