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Gannett Rejects Digital First’s First Takeover Bid

Gannett rejected a takeover offer from Media News Group/Digital First this morning, and it did not do so politely.

A letter from the Board of Directors expressed doubt that Digital First could come up with money to finance the offer. And Gannett added an unusual slam of the potential buyer.

Based on Digital First’s cut-and-slash management of the Denver Post and other properties, Gannett questioned whether it would be able to run the 109 Gannett regional papers and USA Today in the best interests of the communities served.

Said Gannett after cutting its own newspapers’ staff last month.

Poynter has the bid rejection story.

Wall Street analysts had predicted that Gannett would decline the offer saying that it was too low and that Digital First may have been betting on a level of cost cutting in Gannett that is unrealistic. At the time, Huber Research analysts Douglas Arthur and Craig Huber said any offer for Gannett should be at least $14 a share.

Here’s the Gannett reporting of the story.


In other related news…

This morning [Feb. 1, 2019], Craig Forman, CEO of McClatchy Company, emailed all staff to say about 10 percent of the newspaper chain’s employees would be offered voluntary buyouts. All of the details were not immediately available, though a meeting was called for 2 p.m. today at the Miami Herald — the chain’s most significant newspaperto offer details.

McClatchy publishes newspapers across the nation, including the Miami Herald, Kansas City Star, Idaho Statesman, Fresno Bee, and Charlotte Observer. Last August, the company cut about 3.5 percent of the staff, nearly 140 employees.

A ten percent cut now would be about 450 employees. The Miami New Times story.



As Many As 2,100 People Have Lost Media Jobs in the Past Two Weeks

The start of 2019 has been brutal to the media industry, with as many as 2,100 writers, editors, and other workers losing their jobs in the past two weeks.

On February 1, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Vice Media would be laying off 10 percent of its staff, or approximately 250 workers, as part of a reorganization effort; just hours later, the Miami New Times reported that McClatchy, which operates newspapers across the country, had offered voluntary buyouts to 450 workers. These reports come just one week after Verizon (which owns HuffPost, Yahoo, and AOL) laid off 7 percent of its staff, including Pulitzer Prize-finalist Jason Cherkis; BuzzFeed cut 15 percent of its workforce, decimating entire verticals; and the Gannett Company, which owns more than 1,000 daily and weekly newspapers across the country, eliminated approximately 400 jobs.

From The Cut.



Diary of a Laid-Off Reporter

Emily Tamkin’s journal of her first week after being laid off at BuzzFeed.

Via Columbia Journalism Review.



Actual Government Censorship

One hundred years ago, Henry Ford bought a newspaper in Dearborn, Michigan, and used it to publish an anti-Semitic 91-part series called “The International Jew.” The centennial for Ford’s stint as a media mogul cued a local magazine to put together an 11-page package that re-examined Ford’s bigotry and traced its influence to modern-day white nationalist media forums.

But before it could reach readers, Dearborn’s mayor censored the magazine and then fired the editor.

Columbia Journalism Review reports.




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