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Gannett CEO Michael Reed. Photo courtesy of Gannett.

Gannett reports increase in digital subscriptions

Stock prices for national media chain down 85% since start of 2020

By David Wildstein, May 08 2020 11:13 am

Gannett, which owns ten daily newspapers in New Jersey, says digital subscriptions are up 29% with a 100% increase over the last six weeks.

Stock prices in the media giant went up nearly 5% on Thursday after Gannett reported a net loss of $80.2 million but a 144.8% increase in revenue.  Stock prices had plummeted to 65 cents per share in early April, but closed yesterday at 97 cents per share.  Gannett traded at $6.37 per share at the start of 2020.

“The impact on our business from the pandemic came fast and is significant,” said Gannett CEO Michael Reed.  “We have also moved aggressively to manage through the current economic crisis by taking measures to preserve and increase liquidity and financial performance, including further cost reductions, limits on capital expenditures, and the suspension of our quarterly dividend.”

Last summer, GateHouse Media acquired Gannett for $12.06 a share.  The deal was structured to include a massive debt that would require hundreds of millions in cuts to pay back a $1.2 billion loan that was part of the deal to keep them afloat.

Gannett, which had been expected to reduce expenses to handle their debt, has experienced layoffs, furloughs and salary cuts over the last month.

Gannett owns The (Bergen) Record, Herald News, Daily Record, New Jersey Herald, Courier-News, Home News Tribune, Asbury Park Press, Burlington County Times, Courier-Post and Daily Journal newspapers.

The company did not disclose revenues or digital subscription information for specific newspapers.

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