GateHouse-Gannett newspaper deal clears US antitrust review

Michigan

In this Monday, Aug. 5, 2019 photo a Taunton Daily Gazette sign is attached to the exterior of the newspaper’s offices, in Taunton, Mass. The newspaper is published by GateHouse Media New England, a division of GateHouse Media Inc. On Monday, GateHouse Media, a chain backed by an investment firm, announced that it is buying USA Today owner Gannett Co. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

NEW YORK (AP) – GateHouse and Gannett say their newspaper deal has cleared U.S. antitrust review. It still needs approval from European regulators and stockholders of both companies. The two say they expect the deal to close this year.

USA Today owner Gannett and GateHouse argue that combining will help them accelerate the path to digital for their newspapers even as they pay down debt from the deal. The combination would create the largest U.S. newspaper company in a contracting industry, with more than 260 daily papers in the U.S. and more than 300 weeklies.

Getting bigger would allow the combined company to trim costs by centralizing operations, but also by cutting newsroom jobs. Community members complain that will affect local coverage.

GateHouse has continued to lay off journalists since announcing the takeover.

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