Gannett Co. Inc. said Wednesday it plans to buy Journal Media Group — the parent company of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — for about $280 million in cash.
The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016 if it receives regulatory and shareholder approval, adds Wisconsin’s biggest newspaper to Gannett, which already owns newspapers in Green Bay, the Fox Valley and other important markets in the state.
“This transaction marks a critical next step in the transformation of our industry as we build local media brands that matter at a time when operational scale is a competitive advantage,” Tim Stautberg, president and chief executive officer of Journal Media Group, said in a statement. “Both Journal Media Group and Gannett are guided by a vision of strengthening lives and communities, and we’ll be better stewards in our local markets by sharing ideas, content and best practices among our new and larger family.”
The agreement is part of an era of further consolidation in the U.S. newspaper industry, as newly pure-play newspaper companies take steps to meet the competitive threat of scaled digital news and advertising businesses, the companies said in a statement.