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Gannett still silent on takeover bid

The Record reporter tweets in opposition, but that’s it

By David Wildstein, January 21 2019 3:17 pm

One week has passed since Gannett acknowledged that they are the target of a $1.4 billion takeover bid by a hedge fund-backed newspaper chain with a history of slashing editorial staffs, but none of the eight New Jersey dailies owned by Gannett has reported the proposed deal to their readers.

USA TODAY, which is owned by Gannett and whose content regular appears in the New Jersey papers, has written two stories on the deal.

One of the stories appeared in the USA TODAY digital edition on Sunday took aim at Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that owns MNG Enterprises, also known as Digital First Media, highlighting the treatment of journalists at the Denver Post after they group purchased them in 2010.

One reporter for The Record tweeted out a line from the story: “They don’t care about Journalism,  That’s very clear,” with a link to USA Today.

But The Record and the other seven New Jersey newspapers run by Gannett did not run the story on their website or in their print editions.

A financial advisor retained by Gannett circulated  an analysis by an independent equity research firm that says the price offered by for the takeover is too low.

Most national media outlets, as well as the New Jersey Globe, reported the data released by the firm but New Jersey Gannett newspapers did not.

In addition to The Record, Gannett owns the Asbury Park Press, the Courier News, the Courier-Post, the Home News Tribune, the Daily Record, the Daily Journal, and the Herald News in New Jersey, as well as several weekly newspapers.

The story is a tough one for newspapers to report.  With hundreds of newspaper jobs at risk of being eliminated by the merger, journalist are in a tough position to report on news in which they potentially have a personal financial interest.

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