Archive for October, 2006

Moving to more healthcare titles

October 30, 2006

Announcing today that the Nursing Spectrum unit is now to be called Gannett Healthcare Group, Publisher and CEO Steven Hauber says in this statement that “our commitment to our RN readers has never been stronger.”

I do wonder, though, whether the more-inclusive name signals that more health titles beyond nursing are in the works.

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Gannett a buyer for Trib properties?

October 29, 2006

This New York Times story mentions GCI as a possible bidder as private-equity firms circle Tribune Co.

Seems unlikely, though, given that GCI apparently didn’t bid on a single Knight Ridder paper when they were on the auction block. Or did I miss a story saying GCI was a bidder? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Shares close above $60

October 27, 2006

It’s the first time GCI has reached that mark since this past March. Yet, it’s worth noting that GCI closed at $69.40 on June 30, 2005, the day before Craig Dubow became CEO. That’s a loss of 13 percent during a time when the S&P 500 index has climbed nearly 16 percent. Of course, virtually all newspaper stocks have been down during that time, too.

GCI’s rise comes despite a recent weak quarterly report. I suspect the surge has more to do with growing speculation that Tribune is drawing interest from private equity firms. Plus, there were stories last week that former General Electric CEO Jack Welch might be leading an investor group seeking to buy the Boston Globe from the New York Times Co. Together, these all suggest GCI, too, could be targeted by private equity groups.

Note, though, that GCI’s market capitalization is now a daunting $14.3 billion, perhaps making it too big to buy as a whole. Instead, private investors could pick off whatever individual papers, TV stations or other properties the company might throw to the wolves in order to satisfy impatient investors.

But how could other outfits operate GCI papers as profitably, given that a new owner wouldn’t have the same economies of scale for cheap newsprint and other necessities?

John Louis joins board

October 24, 2006

Louis is the third new director added since Craig Dubow became CEO in July 2005. He becomes the company’s eighth director, which means Dubow has now recast more than a third of the board.

At 43, Louis is the youngest director. He’s also yet another director who doesn’t come with a newspaper or TV background. Instead, Louis is an entrepreneur and financier. Here’s the press release announcing his appointment.

The other two board members named since Dubow took over are Arthur Harper, named in March 2006; and Marjorie Magner, in January 2006.

About Gannett Blog

October 24, 2006

[Gannett headquarters, McLean, Va.]

Welcome to Gannett Blog! I’m a former USA Today reporter and editor, now chronicling the fall and rise again (hopefully!) of the nation’s biggest newspaper publisher, and one of its largest private employers (46,000, and falling). It’s a case study of an unfolding corporate crisis — live-blogged. But I need help. Please post tips, news, memos, links, etc., in the comments sections, all across the blog. E-mail confidentially via gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Jim Hopkins
Publisher and Editor

San Francisco, Calif.

P.S.: Read my fascinating disclosures, inside the secret world of Gannett Blog. Plus: Who I am, where I’ve been, where I’m going — and why I’m blogging, all here.

Other ways to reach me
I’m gannettblog on Google Talk (which I prefer) and on AIM. You can visit my YouTube channel. Plus, I’m on Twitter and Flickr. I’m on Facebook, under Gannett Blog and under Jim Hopkins in San Francisco. And here’s my Linked in profile.

[Photo: Kohn Pedersen Fox; this post revised Nov. 5, 2008]