Bloomberg reported this morning that publicly traded media giant, GANNETT, the owner of USA Today, said it will split into two publicly traded companies; one focused on broadcasting and digital businesses — the other on publishing.
In March 2000, GANNETT purchased the ABC affiliate WJXX, broadcasters of FIRST COAST NEWS; and, last year, was rumored to have interest in a purchase of The St Augustine Record amid what has become a continuing erosion of newsgathering and news reporting.
During the “Bloomberg Surveillance” program today, WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell says that consumers in the United States spend about 45% of their time on digital and mobile devices; compare that to an estimated 6-10% of their time reading print newspapers and magazines.
The problem is that legacy print news publications command 20% of the capital resources of a company like GANNETT.
Comparing the two business models, Bloomberg’s Scarlet Fu identified digital news media as “the one with the growth prospect”. Fu reported that the GANNETT print company will spin off “debt free”, indicating that the St Augustine Record acquisition is likely a dead issue.