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Posts Tagged ‘Gracia Martore’

Gannett’s David Lougee Accepts RTDNF First Amendment Award

david lougee RTDNF speechGannett Broadcasting president David Lougee accepted the First Amendment Leadership Award from the RTDNF last night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Lougee said he was there “as a representative of all  the great local journalists in our company,” specifically thanking Gannett CEO Gracia Martore, senior associate general counsel Barbara Wall and the company’s 30 news directors attending the event.

“They represent this company from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon, from Houston in the South to Minneapolis in the North, and from here in D.C. to Seattle in that other Washington,” Lougee said of the news directors. “We couldn’t be more proud of all of them.”

Lougee, who has been in his current role since 2007, touted the importance of local broadcasting.

“Having lived in D.C. two times now, I’ve noticed that too many national decision makers in the media live in the echo chamber of D.C. and Manhattan, and some have never lived anywhere else. But 97% of this country does not live inside the beltway or in New York. They live in the heartland. They live in 50 different states, with their own cultures, their own legislatures and now, as our stations in Denver and Seattle can attest, their own marijuana laws as well,” Lougee said. “No national media organization can or will ever cover all those critical local issues.”

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Q4 Earnings: Gannett Broadcasting Revenues Dip 16%

gannett logoGannett Co. reported broadcasting segment revenues of $228.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, a 15.7% drop from the year-ago quarter. The decline was primarily due to a drop in political ad revenue in the non-election year, the company says.

Retransmission revenues were $38.9 million for the quarter, a 31.5% year-over-year increase. Television station digital revenues also grew, up 40.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.

“We continue to invest wisely and remain relentlessly focused on the execution of our strategic initiatives, raising the bar on operational excellence, and enhancing the strength of our balance sheet, which provides us with the flexibility to continue to invest in our businesses and explore promising new opportunities,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. “These accomplishments — coupled with the increased advertising demand we are anticipating in connection with the Winter Olympics and elections — position us extremely well for a terrific 2014.”

Will Gannett Split Print, TV Assets?

gannett logoBloomberg speculates on the possibility that Gannett Co., which recently acquired Belo, will split its print and television assets:

Gannett is one of the last holdouts in an industry that’s forsaking the traditional newspaper-TV marriage, as Time Warner Inc. (TWX) and Tribune Co. (TRBAA) follow News Corp. in divorcing print media from the faster-growing TV business. While Gannett’s stock price surged after the purchase of Belo, the newspaper unit is still dragging the company’s profit multiple down to the lowest among U.S. media peers, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Splitting off the newspapers would give Gannett a stronger stock currency to buy more local TV stations, FBR & Co. said.

A breakup “would follow a path that many have been down,” William Bird, a New York-based analyst at FBR, said in a phone interview. “This is something that makes long-term sense. The growth profile of a newspaper publisher is definitely much below that of a broadcaster. That’s kind of the lower-multiple business that pulls the whole down.” Read more

Gannett Completes Belo Acquisition

gannett belo logos_304x200The Gannett-Belo merger is complete: Gannett Co. has officially acquired Belo Corp. for $13.75 per share in cash, plus $715 million of outstanding debt, for a total of $2.2 billion.

“We are thrilled to combine these two storied media companies, both of which are known for award-winning journalism, operational excellence and strong brand leadership,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. “The completion of this transaction marks a significant milestone in Gannett’s ongoing transformation into a higher-margin and more highly diversified company in the rapidly evolving media business.”

Earlier today, Gannett announced it would sell three stations — KMOV in St. Louis and KTVK-KSAW in Phoenix — to Meredith Corp. for $407.5 million. The sale of KMOV was required by the Department of Justice before the Gannett-Belo deal could close.

The acquisition of Belo’s 20 stations nearly doubles Gannett’s broadcast portfolio, bringing the company’s reach to approximately one-third of all television households in America. Gannett becomes the #1 CBS affiliate group as well as expanding its already #1 NBC affiliate group.

As of today, Belo will no longer be listed on the NYSE.

Meredith Acquires KMOV, KTVK and KASW From Gannett

meredith_1Meredith Corporation will buy three stations in two markets — KMOV in St. Louis and KTVK-KASW in Phoenix — from Gannett Co. for $407.5 million in cash.

News of the sale comes just a week after the Department of Justice said Gannett had to sell KMOV in order to proceed with its acquisition of Belo Corp. Gannett says the sale satisfies the obligations, and that the close of the Gannett-Belo merger is “expected promptly.”

KSAW, the CW affiliate in Phoenix, will subsequently be purchased from Meredith by SagamoreHill. Meredith, which owns KPHO in Phoenix, will provide “certain services” for the station, according to a press release.

“Meredith is a highly respected multi-media company which shares our commitment to outstanding local journalism, and we are confident that these stations will be in good hands,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement.

More from Gannett after the jump. Read more

Gannett Broadcasting President Wins RTDNF First Amendment Award

dave lougeeDave Lougee, the president of Gannett Broadcasting, is the 2014 winner of the RTDNF’s First Amendment Leadership Award.

Lougee joined Gannett in 2007 from Belo Corporation, where he was the executive vice president of media operations. He is a former general manager and news director of KING in Seattle. He also worked as news director at WRC in Washington, D.C. and KUSA in Denver.

The First Amendment Leadership Award is given annually to a business or government leader that has contributed significantly to the protection of the First Amendment and freedom of the press.

Related, TVNewser: Lester Holt, Robin Sproul, Bill Plante Win RTDNF First Amendment Awards

“This award has been given to some of the most influential journalists of our time and shines a spotlight on the rights we hold dear. Dave, through his leadership, sets a terrific example for our broadcast journalists as they fight to protect First Amendment rights,” Gannett president and CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. “I congratulate Dave on this important and well-deserved honor.”

Q3 Earnings: Gannett Broadcast Revenue Falls 14%

gannett logoGannett Co. reported $203.4 million in broadcast segment revenues for the third quarter of 2013, a 14.2% decline from the year-ago quarter. The decrease “reflects the absence of Olympic and political spending partially offset by significant growth in retransmission revenue and digital revenue growth of 20.7 percent,” according to Gannett.

Television revenues were $198.5 million, down from $233.0 million in the third quarter of 2012. Retransmission revenues were up 62.8%.

“We are also pleased that during the quarter, Belo shareholders approved the pending acquisition, and we continue to anticipate bringing the transaction to a close following the attainment of regulatory approvals,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. “We are working towards a seamless integration that will accelerate our transformation and create an even stronger Gannett.”

Gannett Sets New Social Media Policy

Starting today, employees at Gannett stations have a new social media policy to adhere to.

In the lengthy memo from Gannett CEO Gracia Martore, which you can read in full on Jim Romenesko’s site, the company notes that social media “is core to our strategic goal of reinventing local journalism in the digital age,” but warns employees to conduct themselves with care. Among the guidelines: “assume that all of your activities on a social media site are public, regardless of the privacy tools you may use” and “never post anything you would not be willing [to] publish or broadcast.”

The memo clearly states that violating the social media policy “may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.”

Q2 Earnings: Gannett Television Revenues Rise 3.6%

Gannett Co. reported $204.8 million in television revenues during the second quarter of 2013, an increase of 3.6% on the year-ago quarter.

Retransmission revenues rose 62.3%, while core advertising revenues were up 1.5%. Operating expenses in the broadcasting segment were $113.9 million, up 2.8% compared to the year-ago quarter. Gannett said the increase reflects “higher costs associated with stragetic initiatives.”

“Our long-term strategic plan — with a focus on both investment and execution — continues to position us for success well into the future. Gannett’s pending acquisition of Belo, and finding new ways to get content and offerings to the right user at the right time, are steps in our long-term strategy,” president and CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. “We are accelerating our transformation into the ‘New Gannett’ every day.”

Gannett Acquires Belo for $1.5B; Entity Will Own 43 Stations

Gannett is acquiring Belo Corp. for approximately $1.5 billion. With Gannett’s assumption of $715 million in existing Belo debt, the deal rounds out to being worth nearly $2.2 billion. The boards of both companies approved the acquisition last night.

Gannett will now become the nation’s fourth-largest owner of major network affiliates reaching nearly a third of all U.S. households and nearly doubling Gannett TV stations from 23 to 43, including stations that are part of shared services agreements. Belo stations include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and the CW, stretching from Seattle to Charlotte including affiliates in the big four markets of Texas. When it’s all said and done, Gannett will become the #1 CBS affiliate group, the #4 ABC affiliate group, and will expand its already #1 NBC affiliate group position.

“We are thrilled to bring together two highly respected media companies with rich histories of award-winning journalism, operational excellence and strong brand leadership,” said Gannett CEO Gracia Martore. “We have been successfully transforming Gannett into a diversified multi-media company with broadcast, digital and publishing components across high-growth markets nationwide, and this is another important step in the process.”

The deal is 28% premium to the closing price of Belo stock yesterday.

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