October 7, 2015
The sign by Gannett's (now TEGNA) headquarters is seen in McLean, Va in 2010. (AP Photo)

The sign by Gannett’s (now TEGNA) headquarters is seen in McLean, Virginia in 2010. (AP Photo)

Newspaper giant Gannett announced on Wednesday it has inked a deal to purchase Journal Media Group for $280 million.

The deal will enlarge Gannett, already the largest U.S. newspaper publisher by revenue, as it adds Journal’s 15 dailies and 18 weeklies to its portfolio of publications. According to a release, the acquisition will bolster Gannett’s annual revenues by $450 million and grow the company’s daily circulation by 675,000.

By acquiring Journal Media Group, Gannett follows through on an earlier assurance to shareholders that it would adopt an acquisitive strategy following the spinoff from its parent company in June.

In a statement, newly minted Gannett CEO Robert Dickey touted the merger as the first step in the company’s industry consolidation strategy.

“Our merger will combine the best of each of our organizations to create a journalism-led, investor-focused company which will provide substantial value to the shareholders of both companies,” Dickey said.

The properties owned by Journal Media Group in markets such as Knoxville, Tennessee and Milwaukee, Wisconsin are in line with the purchasing goals outlined by Gannett earlier this year: Namely, markets with populations north of 300,000 but less than than 3 million. Journal Media Group’s price tag is also on the high end of the $250 million Gannett said it planned to spend on acquisitions annually.

For Journal Media Group, the acquisition comes after a combination merger-spinoff with the E.W. Scripps Company in April. The newspapers being acquired by Gannett in today’s deal were once owned by either Scripps or Journal before the companies merged and split to separate their print and broadcast assets.

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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…
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