Gannett is the latest mega company to split its publishing and broadcast/entertainment businesses. The company, which publishes USA Today, plans to complete the separation — which will happen via a tax-free distribution of assets to shareholders — sometime next year.
In the same announcement, Gannett reported it will buy the 73 percent interest it doesn’t already own in Classified Ventures, parent company of Cars.com, for $1.8 billion in cold hard cash.
Gannett’s split is similar to ones conducted by News Corp, Time Warner and Tribune Company. Each sought to get rid of publishing companies that have been a drag on their bottom lines. Of course that’s not how the companies spin it.
“The creation of two highly focused companies with enhanced financial and regulatory flexibility will accelerate growth and create additional value for our shareholders,” said Gannett’s chairman of the board, Marge Magner, in a statement.