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Gannett's Gigabuck Deal

In Business This Week


SINCE TAKING THE HELM OF Gannett in 1989, Chief Executive Officer John Curley has chafed at the perception that he was the cautious keeper of a media combine built by his flamboyant predecessor, Al Neuharth. Nothing like a megadeal to shake up old perceptions: On July 24, Gannett announced its largest acquisition ever, the $2.3 billion purchase of Multimedia. Curley's strategy seems clear: Bigger is better. The transaction expands Gannett's stable of small but profitable newspapers and television stations and gives it a foothold in TV syndication and cable, reducing Gannett's dependence on newspapers to 66% of revenues from 82%. Says Smith Barney analyst John Reidy: "It's a very good deal."EDITED BY KEITH H. HAMMONDS

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