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Gannett Co. buying Midwest, South newspapers for $280M

Gannett Co. acquiring newspapers in Midwest, South with $280 million purchase of Journal Media

Gannett Co. buying Midwest, South newspapers for $280M

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Gannett Co. is buying newspaper company Journal Media Group for $280 million, officials for the companies announced Wednesday evening.

Journal Media publications dot the Midwest and South and include the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and Memphis (Tennessee) Commercial-Appeal.

Industry experts say the publications are a natural fit for Gannett's strategy of maximizing short-term profits through managing the decline of publications in less competitive markets.

Gannett's "prevailing strategy is economy of scale," which involves reducing local costs and consolidating or regionalizing many operations, analyst Ken Doctor said.

"Undoubltely, there will be some (layoffs) in any areas that can be centralized," including technology, newsrooms, human resources, finance and some advertising, he said.

The goal is to "keep enough of a local presence to make enough people want to read you on a local level," he said, adding, "anything else you do on a national or regional level."

Gannett's flagship publication is USA Today, and it has used that publication's staff to produce national content for its local products.

Gannett this summer became a company that runs newspapers exclusively, having moved all of its television companies into a separate company, Tenga Inc.