New Media/Gate House announced a merger with Gannett today, meaning one in every six newspapers in the U.S. will be owned by the same company. New Media bought Gannett for $1.4 billion. New Media/Gate House will operate under the Gannett brand once the acquisition is finalized.
Collectively the two companies will own 667 newspapers, including the Gannett owned USA Today, according to U.S. News Deserts
collection of UNC Database. Together the merged company now owns far more than the 144 newspapers owned by Adams Publishing Group, now the second biggest newspaper owner.
Publishing mergers have grown increasingly common as newspapers continue to fight for advertising dollars against Google, Facebook, and other online heavy-hitters. While these mergers strength the ad buys and consolidate the readers that each company is fighting for, the newspaper
business is still no match for the digital online players.
While the deal is expected to close at the end of 2019, it will still be subjected to a Department of Justice antitrust review, though the deal is not expected to fall apart. It could face some revisions when it comes to questions of monopolistic holdings in regional markets, where both companies hold papers.