Gannett taking steps to preserve liquidity
Nation's largest newspaper publisher is negotiating with creditors, vendors and pension regulators.
McLean-based Gannett Co. Inc., the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, is negotiating with its vendors, creditors and pension regulators in order to preserve the company’s liquidity, according to a statement from the company released Wednesday.
Gannett, which owns USA Today, has seen swift drops in advertising due to the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. It announced mass layoffs, furlough and pay cuts earlier this week. The company has a portfolio of 261 local daily newspapers in 46 states and Guam, including the Arizona Republic, the Des Moines Register and the Burlington Free Press.
Gannett has identified cost savings measures that it expects will save the company $100 million to $125 million this year, in addition to expense reductions caused by its $1.13 billion acquisition in November 2019 by Gatehouse Media. Its board of directors has also decided to suspend quarterly dividends until the company’s economic situation improves.
“We have worked swiftly and diligently over the past month to support the health and safety of our employees and to preserve our ability to deliver high quality journalism to the communities we serve,” said Gannett’s chairman and CEO, Michael Reed, in a statement. “While business performance started the year strong, we now expect our revenues to be significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we have taken several measures designed to mitigate the impact on our operating performance and to strengthen the company’s balance sheet and liquidity position. We believe these measures are essential to protect the company during this challenging time. We continue to aggressively pursue previously announced integration plans and remain optimistic about our ability to emerge from this crisis as a stronger company.”