Gannett’s print and broadcast divorce
This recent Gannett press release slipped under the radar as politics dominate in this pre-election period. But make no mistake, the “separation” of fading print assets from its broadcast and digital businesses, signals a split that no conciliation expert worth his/her salt would consider repairable. Gannett is the parent company of the Arizona Republic —- often referred to on this site as the Periódico de la República de Arizona, for its relentless pro-amnesty positions —- and KPNX-TV 12 in Phoenix. The mirror-image entities are housed in the same building.
Gracia Martore, president and CEO, said, “The bold actions we are announcing…are significant next steps in our ongoing initiatives to increase shareholder value by building scale, increasing cash flow, sharpening management focus, and strengthening all of our businesses to compete effectively in today’s increasingly digital landscape.
Translation: Print is dead, The fetid stench of decay assaults the senses.
When the Gannett chairman of the board then announces the company “has made huge strides in strengthening each of its businesses over the past few years, and the Board believes that the creation of two highly focused companies with enhanced financial and regulatory flexibility will accelerate growth and create additional value for our shareholders,” it’s clear concern for the shareholders exceed those of the dying newspapers.
The pull-down “Arizona” box under the map, provides an indication of a likely problem. The now defunct Tucson Citizen is misspelled as Tuscon. When the mighty media giant Gannett can’t spell the name of its own holdings —- former or not —- it signals the dissolution is merely a formality. The love was gone when the subscriptions caved.