Tegna Inc. plans to spin off Cars.com
McLean-based Tegna Inc. plans to spin off Cars.com, its online automotive marketplace, as a separate publicly traded company.
Gracia C. Martore, Tegna’s president and CEO, plans to retire when the spinoff is completed next year.
She will be succeeded by Dave Lougee, the president of Tegna Media, which oversees the 46 television stations the company owns or services.
Alex Vetter, the head of Cars.com, will be president and CEO of the new independent company.
In addition to the Cars.com spinoff, Tegna also said it is evaluating strategic alternatives for the employment website CareerBuilder.
In a statement, Martore said spinning off Cars.com is a logical next step in Tegna’s evolution, which over the past 4.5 years has included the acquisition of broadcast stations from Belo Corp. and London Broadcasting and the spin-off of the Gannett Co. publishing business. Tegna is the former broadcasting and digital division of Gannett.
“Spinning off Cars.com from TEGNA will establish two strong, industry-leading companies that are well positioned to compete and to continue to profitably grow in their targeted markets,” she said. “Each business will have increased strategic, operating, and financial flexibility at a time when the broadcast and digital sectors are both rapidly evolving – presenting both companies with a wealth of opportunities.”
Martore expects to retire when the spinoff is completed in the first half of 2017. She has worked for 31 years for Tegna and its predecessor, Gannett.
After the spinoff, Tegna will continue to be based in McLean. Cars.com’s headquarters will remain headquartered in Chicago.
Martore’s successor, Lougee, was named president of Gannett Broadcasting in July 2007 and previously served as executive vice president, media operations for Belo Corp.
Vetter is one of the original members of Cars.com management.
Tegna owns a 53 percent controlling interest in CareerBuilder; minority owners are Tribune Media and The McClatchy Co.
Options being explored for the employment website include its possible sale. Tegna cautioned, however, that there is no guarantee that any of the options under review will result in a transaction.