Gannett to Purchase 21 Newspapers in 6 States

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Gannett Co., Arlington, VA, will acquire 21 daily newspapers, along with numerous weeklies and niche publications, from Thomson Newspapers Inc., Toronto, in a series of transactions totaling $1.1 billion, Gannett announced this week.

Gannett will acquire Thomson's strategic marketing groups in Wisconsin (eight dailies), central Ohio (eight dailies) and southwest Ohio (two dailies), and single daily newspaper groups in Lafayette, LA; Salisbury, MD; and St. George, UT. The newspapers have a combined daily circulation of 466,000.

Closing is expected to occur in the third quarter and is subject to government approvals.

Gannett is an international news operation that publishes 74 daily newspapers in the United States. The company also owns several nondaily publications.

Thomson -- which has been shifting from newspaper publishing to providing what it calls "e-information and solutions" -- also agreed to a separate deal with Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Thomson will sell to CNHI 17 daily newspapers in Indiana, Georgia and West Virginia, as well as its newspaper operation in Cumberland, MD. The purchase price is $455 million. The newspapers have a combined daily circulation of 260,000.

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