Gannett's media properties run the gamut. The company is the top newspaper publisher in the US with about 80 daily papers boasting a total circulation of about 5 million. Its flagship USA TODAY, with a circulation of 1.7 million, is the nation's second-largest newspaper (behind the Wall Street Journal). But Gannett is now a diverse international company that owns several important websites and more than 45 television stations. Its operations include broadcast, digital, mobile, and traditional publishing properties. Gannett also owns about 440 non-daily publications, as well as more than 200 papers in the UK through Newsquest. In 2014 Gannett announced plans to break itself up into two companies.
Gannett operates primarily in the US and the UK. Nearly 90% of the company's 2013 revenues came from domestic operations and about 10% came from foreign operations, mostly in the UK.
Gannett operates through three business segments: Publishing, Digital, and Broadcasting (television). The Publishing segment contributed about 70% of the company’s revenues in fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013. The company’s Digital segment includes CareerBuilder, Cars.com, PointRoll, ShopLocal, and Reviewed.com. Through its Broadcasting segment, the company owns and operates 46 television stations.
In fiscal 2013 Gannett reported about $5.1 billion in revenues. That figure was down from the $5.35 billion it brought in during fiscal 2012 and the $5.2 billion the company reported for revenues in fiscal 2011. The decline in revenue during in fiscal 2013 compared to fiscal 2012 was primarily due to the absence of $150 million in political advertising and $37 million of advertising associated with the Summer Olympic Games generated during 2012.
Gannett‘s net income decreased by 8% in fiscal 2013 compared to the previous fiscal period due to decreased revenue and increased amortization of intangible assets along with increased interest expenses.
The company’s cash flow from operating activities was $511.5 million in fiscal 2013, versus $757 million in fiscal 2012. The difference was primarily because of the absence of incremental cash flow from the 2012 Summer Olympics and substantially higher political advertising in 2012. Net cash tax payments were $60 million higher in 2013 due in part to the timing of deductions.
Like other newspaper publishers, Gannett relies on both advertising and circulation revenue for the bulk of its sales. USA TODAY, meanwhile, has concentrated less on its print version and focused more on its digital version and delivering content to mobile devices.
Many of the company's newsrooms have become digital media hubs that create and distribute content to both print and digital media products, resulting in smaller printed editions augmented by more stories appearing online.
The company's online job site, CareerBuilder.com, is the largest in North America with the highest traffic and revenue. CareerBuilder is rapidly expanding its international operations.
Gannett plans to spin off its Publishing business from its Digital and Broadcasting segments. The newspaper business will retain the name Gannett while the digital and broadcast company will form a new company with a new name. The transaction is intended to free up the television and digital media operations from the less profitable newspaper businesses.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2014 the company spent $1.8 billion to buy out the 73% of the auto sales website Cars.com that it did not already own. Cars.com became another important asset to Gannett's Digital segment's portfolio.
In late 2013 Gannett closed its $2.2 billion purchase of Belo. The deal nearly doubled its portfolio of TV stations from 23 to 43. The company is now the largest independent station group of major network affiliates in the top 25 markets. The Belo acquisition made Gannett the largest owner of CBS affiliates in the US. It was already the largest owner of NBC affiliates in the US.