June 7, 2016

Gannett isn’t ready to give up its fight for Tribune Publishing just yet.

In a press release issued Tuesday morning, the newspaper company said it’s “determined to keep its offer in place” as it “evaluates various near-term developments.” Among them: Tribune Publishing’s second-quarter financial results, which are due later this summer:

Gannett values the 11 iconic newspapers of Tribune and has determined to keep its offer in place as it evaluates various near-term developments, including the Tribune second quarter 2016 financial results, which are expected in August.

Gannett’s latest announcement buys the company a little time to evaluate the state of its takeover fight with Tribune Publishing, which began in April with an $815 million acquisition offer that was eventually raised to $864 million. It also indicates Gannett is willing to pursue the company as it follows through on a proposed name change (to Tronc) and begins trading on the Nasdaq exchange.

If Tribune Publishing Chairman Michael Ferro can begin to execute his proposed turnaround strategy, which includes artificial intelligence and machine learning, in the next two months, Tribune will have a stronger case for exacting a higher price from Gannett come August. Similarly, if Ferro has not been able to show financial progress by August, Gannett’s offer of an alternative to shareholders may be more enticing.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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