Gannett stock plummeted to 65 cents a share at market close on Monday, signaling immense problems ahead for the company that operates ten daily newspapers in New Jersey.
The grim news follows recent furloughs of reporters and staff at several of Gannett’s New Jersey properties as the largest newspapers chain in the nation deals with the economic impact of the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Gannett also announced 25% salary reductions for top staff.
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 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.
Alden Global Capital, the owner of the Trentonian, initiated a series layoffs at several of their newspapers. Alden, formally Digital First Media, launched an unsuccessful hostile takeover bid of Gannett last year.
It is not immediately known if the Trentonian is cutting back staff.