Gannett has long been one of the most market-savvy American newspaper chains. It showed those smarts again today, with its twin announcements.

Had it only announced the spinoff of its distressed newspaper properties, it could have been seen as a me-too response to the split-’em-up business model du jour (Monday’s post: “Split’ Ems — And Then There Was Gannett”). Or, had it only announced its acquisition of Cars.com, buying out its partners for $1.8 billion, that might have be seen as expected, and perhaps even at the lower end of the anticipated price (“The newsonomics of Cars.com”).

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