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Gannett Might Be Selling Some of Their Newspapers, Report Says

by David Wildstein, New Jersey Globe

This story is being republished under a special NJ News Commons content-sharing agreement related to COVID-19 coverage. Link to story:

As many as nine New Jersey daily newspapers could be up for sale, as Gannett says it will consider selling some of its papers as they deal with substantial financial difficulties, Axios reported.

“We would entertain bids on any of our markets, any of our products that are at or above fair market value. So that’s something we’ve done in the past, we’ll do in the future,” Gannett CEO Mike Reed said on a call with reporters last month. “Those things can be lumpy. It depends on vanity-type buyers in those particular markets.”

According to Axios, Reed said that Gannett’s top 100 newspapers are responsible for approximately 90 percent of its total revenues. That could protect the Bergen Record and the Asbury Park Press but not smaller dailies in their portfolio. Gannett owns 217 daily newspapers across the U.S.

Some Gannett newspapers no longer employ reporters, relying only on stories written by other newspapers.

The Burlington County Times, once a valued local newspaper, lists no local reporters on its masthead – only an executive editor, Audrey Harvin. The Vineland-based Daily Journal has nobody listed in a newsroom directory, and the New Jersey Herald, based in Sussex County, is down to three reporters. The Daily Record is down to one staff writer and a single sports reporter.

Gannett also owns the Home News Tribune, Courier News, and Courier-Post newspapers.

Circulation for The Record has dropped more than 81 percent since Gannett bought the newspaper from the Borg family in 2016. Weekday circulation of the old media chain is down from 136,074 to 25,312, with Sunday circulation dropping from 171,744 on Sundays to 31,311.