Gannett will spin off its print business including USA Today into a separate company as it focuses on its TV and digital media properties, the company said Tuesday. The deal, expected to close in 2015, is the latest in a long line of recent spinoffs of print businesses by media companies. Recent transactions include:
— The Tribune Co.
On Monday, the Tribune Co. completed the spinoff of its newspaper business and changed its name to Tribune Media Co., a move that was in the works for about a year. Tribune Media Co. will operate 42 local TV stations and the WGN America cable channel. The newspaper spinoff, called Tribune Publishing Co., will include newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.
— Journal Communications Inc. and E.W. Scripps Co.
Last week, the two companies agreed to combine broadcast operations while spinning off newspaper holdings into a separate publicly traded entity. Journal Communication’s newspaper component, Journal Media Group, will operate in 14 markets. Meanwhile, Journal Communications’ broadcast assets will fold into Scripps, with headquarters remaining in Cincinnati. The company will own and operate TV and radio stations serving 27 markets. The deal is expected to close in 2015.
— Time Warner
Earlier this year, the media giant completed a spinoff of publisher Time Inc., which owns magazines including People, Time and Sports Illustrated, into a separate, publicly traded company, as it focuses on its other media properties such as HBO and Warner Bros. studios. Time Inc.’s shares are up 4 per cent since they started trading in June. Time Warner’s stock is up 24 per cent.
— News Corp.
The company controlled by Rupert Murdoch split into two units in 2013: Twenty-First Century Fox, which holds TV and movie properties, and a smaller News Corp. unit focused on publishing and newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and New York Post. Since the spinoff was finalized in XXXXX, Twenty-First Century Fox shares are up 4 per cent and News Corp. shares are up 8 per cent.
— Belo Corp.
In 2008, Belo spun off its newspapers including the Dallas Morning News into a publicly traded company called A.H. Belo, while its 20 TV stations remained under the Belo Corp. name. Gannett acquired Belo Corp. for $1.5 billion in 2013. A.H. Belo remains publicly traded, with its stock up about 41 per cent this year.