It’s both a tagline and marching orders for Gannett Company.
Announcing the death of print media isn’t interesting anymore, but the way newspaper companies try and convince us that they are still doing well is. Most are trying to innovate, rebrand or refocus, but Gannett’s plan is much simpler.
The plan: acquire companies to scale quickly, cut costs and bring on the digital talents needed to make it all work in today’s media market. It’s not a particularly exciting plan, but the company may not need exciting to make it work.
- Earlier this year, a deal to acquire Journal Media Group for $280 million was completed, which expanded the company’s number of daily print papers to 107 in the US market. Gannett is now the largest media network hitting both local and national audiences, according to the company, giving it the benefit of scale. Gannett also tried acquiring Tribune Publishing earlier this year, but that plan failed.
- After splitting from Tegna in 2015, Gannett’s CEO discussed his plans to cut expenses across the brand by $67 million in the first half of 2016, accomplished in-part by centralizing parts of its many newsrooms, like copy editing and print design.
- The most recent step of the plan is the $156 million acquisition of ReachLocal, a digital advertising firm. The deal puts Gannett in a place to bring digital advertising in house, which is currently done through a partnership with its former parent Tegna, according to John Janedis, an analyst at Jefferies.
It’s all part of the plan to make newspapers work when consumers are demanding digitally focused organizations.