America’s two largest newspaper publishers will merge in an effort to combat declining circulation and plunging advertising revenue, but will still face pressure to cut costs at hundreds of already cash-strapped publications around the country. The $1.4 billion purchase of McLean-based Gannett by GateHouse Media, based in Pittsford, N.Y., will create a conglomerate that will own more than 250 daily newspapers and hundreds of weekly and community papers.
The Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, The Ithaca Journal and the Star-Gazette in Elmira are owned by Gannett and publish daily newspapers, except no Sunday edition in Ithaca. No word Tuesday on what effect this merger might have on the three newspapers. All three newspapers have downsized their personnel and production in recent years. Their printing plant in Johnson City was sold and the papers are printed in the Rochester area. Gannett also owns the newspaper in Rochester.
The new company will retain the Gannett name and will have publications in 47 states, reaching more
than 145 million unique visitors each month.
By Michael Baldwin