Standard-Times Sold for the Second Time This Year
Yesterday, Journal Media Group, Inc. (JMC), the corporate parent of the San Angelo Standard-Times along with 14 other newspapers and 18 weeklies was sold to Gannett (GCI). The deal was reported to be for $280 million in cash, giving JMC shareholders $12 per share, a 44.6 percent premium on yesterday’s closing price, according to StreetInsider. This is the second sale this year involving San Angelo’s 104-year-old daily.
The transaction was meant to make the shareholders rich, with a nod to quality journalism. In his statement announcing the deal, Gannett’s president and CEO Robert Dickey said, “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.”
Gannett promises to further consolidate operations and cut staff. The combined company “will benefit from the consolidated functions Gannett has established over the last several years," Gannett was quoted in USA Today. USA Today is a Gannett property. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that by combining the two newspaper groups, Gannett hopes to realize an operational savings of up to $25 million annually.
On Oct. 2 a Gannett internal memo from the corporation’s “Chief People Officer” reported that the company is seeking volunteers for retirement. Gannett employees identified as eligible for early retirement have until Oct. 12 at 11:30 p.m. EST to accept the offer. At the end of the offer email, the CPO warns, “If we don’t achieve our goals, we will need to re-evaluate where we stand and we can’t rule out implementing other actions in the future.”
The Milwaukee Business Journal reported that all is not well at the Milwaukee flagship newspaper offices. “Our newsroom is aware of it and people are in a panic,” Tom Silverstein, a sports reporter who is president of the newsroom employee labor union at the Journal Sentinel, told the Milwaukee Business Journal.
The Standard-Times was included in a spin-off of newspapers from the E.W. Scripps Company in April 2015 that combined the former Scripps newspapers with the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal to form Journal Media Group. Scripps and the Milwaukee corporation that owned the Wisconsin flagship newspaper were shedding the financial drag of their newspapers from their profitable television broadcast properties.
New era begins. Or not. Journal Sentinel turns off comments on this story about itself. http://t.co/0eXr8pNQzd— Charles Sykes (@SykesCharlie) October 8, 2015
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