GateHouse-Gannett Merger Further Consolidates News Industry, Undermines Democracy

Today, GateHouse Media and Gannett Co. announced plans to merge to form an unprecedented newspaper conglomerate. The $1.4 billion deal would combine the two largest newspaper chains, creating the largest newspaper publisher in the United States. A combined GateHouse-Gannett entity would own one in every six newspapers in the nation and control over 100 local news operations.

Statement of Michael Copps, Former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser 

“The GateHouse-Gannett merger is another nail in the coffin for the state of our news and information system. Combining the two largest newspaper chains would lead to cost-cutting strategies straight out of the Wall Street playbook. This means we can expect to see more reporter layoffs and consolidated newsrooms. The profits generated from cutting costs won’t be invested into improving the news but rather to pay off financing arrangements and shareholders. Hundreds of communities and ultimately our democracy will pay the price for this deal. Less journalism and less deep-dive investigative reporting will only lead to less informed citizens.”

“The news industry is transforming due to technological changes. But at a time, when thousands of reporters are currently walking the streets in search of jobs rather than working the beat in search of stories, more consolidation won’t address the current crisis in journalism. “