Providence Journal parent posts $121M loss in 2019

GANNETT CO., the parent company of The Providence Journal, reported a $121.2 million loss for 2019. / PBN FILE PHOTO/ARTISTIC IMAGES
GANNETT CO., the parent company of The Providence Journal, reported a $121.2 million loss for 2019. / PBN FILE PHOTO/ARTISTIC IMAGES

PROVIDENCE – Gannett Co., parent company of The Providence Journal and several other local publications, lost $121.2 million for 2019, according to the company Thursday.

The company reported a profit of $18.1 million in 2018. Loss per diluted share was $1.77 for 2019, compared with a profit of 31 cents one year prior.

The company, formerly named New Media Investment Inc., purchased Gannett Co. in  November 2019, assuming the Gannett name. The total acquisition cost of Gannett was roughly $1.4 billion.

“Although we acquired Legacy Gannett only six weeks before the end of the quarter, we immediately began implementing our integration plan,” said Michael Reed, Gannett chairman and CEO. “By the end of the first quarter of 2020, we expect to have implemented measures that will result in over $60 million in annualized savings.”

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Reed went on to say, “We remain highly confident that we will complete the implementation of measures in 2020 corresponding to more than half of our $300 million synergy target related to the acquisition of Legacy Gannett.”

Acquisition costs incurred in 2019 totaled $60.6 million while integration and reorganization costs were $47.4 million.

The company owns and operates several papers in the Rhode Island and Massachusetts market, including The Providence Journal, The Taunton Gazette, The Newport Daily News, The Cape Cod Times, Fall River Herald News, The Worcester Telegram and The New Bedford Standard-Times.

Company revenue totaled $1.9 billion, an increase from $1.5 billion one year prior.

Same store revenues declined 9.4% year over year.

Fourth quarter losses totaled $95.5 million, compared with a profit of $12.9 million one year prior. Revenue was $699.3 million for the quarter, an increase from $217.7 million.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. You may reach him at Bergenheim@PBN.com.

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