Gannett, again: Owner of local business paper snaps up big national chain

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The owner of the Idaho Business Review made a big play on the national stage today.

GateHouse Media, which owns the producer of local business-themed events and weekly business paper Idaho Business Review, announced it would buy Gannett Co.

The new company will take the Gannett name and create a sprawling media colossus – with assets like USA Today, daily local newspapers and small business weeklies like the IBR. GateHouse owns IBR through its BridgeTower Media subsidiary.

The move is an attempt to slash costs and give the companies more breathing room as the traditional print industry continues to rapidly shrink. Digital revenues at many papers have not grown fast enough to make up for traditional media losses. Savings are estimated at $275-million to $300-million annual costs.

This will be the third time a company with the Gannett name has operated a media property in Boise. A predecessor company owned the Idaho Statesman from 1971 through 2005. That same company owned KTVB-TV from 2014 through 2015. Gannett split its TV and newspaper assets – with the newly created newspaper company taking the Gannett name. KTVB is now owned by TEGNA, Inc. The Idaho Statesman is now owned by McClatchy, Inc.

GateHouse often makes cuts to newly-acquired properties to boost profitability. When the chain purchased IBR-parent Dolan Media, it disbanded a high-profile Downtown Boise office space and instead asked employees to work from home or co-working spaces. It recently re-opened a physical office space in an older Overland Rd. office building.

(Disclosure: I was employed by KTVB during the Gannett and early TEGNA days. And as should be apparent, BoiseDev competes with each of the local media outlets listed here).

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