Shares close above $60

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?

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