Virginia-based media giant Gannett announced today it will split its publishing business from its broadcasting and digital properties, creating two separate publicly-traded companies.
Gannett's publishing business will take in USA Today as well as 81 other local papers around the country, while broadcast and digital company will be comprised of the company's 46 TV stations, and sites like CareerBuilder and Cars.com.
Gannett CEO Gracia Martore will oversee the digital and broadcasting company and the company's president of U.S. community publishing Robert J. Dickey will become the publishing company's CEO. In a release, Martore characterized the decisions as "bold actions" that would lead to the newly split companies being "among the largest and strongest in their peer groups."
The establishment of the publishing business will take place with a tax-free distribution of the company's assets to its shareholders. The company has noted the publishing business will be "virtually debt-free."
Gannett isn't the only media giant to spin off or split apart its holdings in an effort to remain solvent and maintain relationships with advertisers. Last month, Tribune Media made a similar move, following Time Warner's spinoff of its Time Inc. magazine unit and News Corp's separation of its newspaper arm and 21st Century Fox.
Gannett also announced today that it is buying the rest of Cars.com from Classified Ventures for $1.8 billion. The company already owned about 27 percent of the car research website, but purchased the remaining stake for full ownership.
Last year, the company purchased Belo Corporation, a broadcast media competitor based out of Dallas, for $2.2 billion.
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