When GateHouse and its parent company, New Media Investment, completed the deal Monday to acquire Gannett, the expectation was that the GateHouse crew would be running the new company, instituting their systems across the board.
Not so fast.
Two of the top three executives of the merged company (to be called Gannett rather than GateHouse) are from Gannett, including a new operating CEO from outside the industry.
And now that the agreement is public, several executives who I respect tell me that they do not foresee scorched earth for the Gannett papers.
George Stanley, editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, one of Gannett’s largest and most decorated metros, wrote me in an email exchange:
“I tend to be optimistic because each new leadership team has placed a high value on doing great reporting that’s unavailable from other sources and worth the price of a subscription. They’ve encouraged us to continue to be us. Experienced, professional media executives will be in charge of the new Gannett, running it as an independent news company, seeking to build out a business model that supports the reporting of local news essential to our democracy. They’re saying the right things in a way that makes sense. They’re emphasizing the unique combination of national with local markets. They’re looking for growth and see consumer revenue — reader revenue — as a key growth area.”
Like other metro editors — including those at independent papers like the Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Seattle Times — Stanley
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/business-work/2019/old-gannett-may-have-a-surprisingly-big-role-in-running-new-gannett/