Owners of Topeka Capital-Journal, USA Today merging

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The owner of the Topeka Capital-Journal announced Monday it will acquire USA TODAY owner, Gannett, in a merger.

The goal of the merger is to cut costs and launch both companies into the digital sphere, making them a bigger digital player than they would be separately.

This combination will create a broad network of talented, experienced journalists poised to deliver unique and award-winning content for local communities and national audiences. The breadth and depth of each company’s digital offerings will make the combined company a leading digital media player.

New Media press release

New Media owns 154 daily publications, including GateHouse Media, which owns the Topeka Capital-Journal. When combined with Gannett, the companies will operate 263 daily media organizations, the most of any U.S news publisher.

“The Merger will create a leading local and national media company with 263 daily media organizations across 47 states and Guam and USA TODAY, reaching more than 145 million unique visitors every month,” the companies said in a statement.

The companies estimate that they could save $275 million to $300 million in annual costs within 24 months, noting that this is only one of the benefits from the merger.

“The Gannett Board unanimously determined that this combination with New Media is in the best interests of Gannett shareholders, customers, audiences, and employees, providing significant and immediate value, as well as the ability to benefit from the upside potential of the combined company,” said J. Jeffry Louis, Chairman of the Gannett Board of Directors. “We see numerous opportunities to leverage the combined company’s enhanced scale and financial strength to continue to drive growth in the digital future.”

With the hundreds of millions to potentially be saved, they will continue to invest in newsrooms and believe a digital transformation is vital to the preservation of journalism.

“Uniting our talented employees and complementary portfolios will enable us to expand our comprehensive, hyperlocal coverage for consumers, deepen our product offering for local businesses, and accelerate our shift from print-centric to dynamic multimedia operations,” said Michael Reed, New Media Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer.

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