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Gannett to create separate newspaper, broadcast entities after Cars.com buy

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Gannett has become the latest U.S. media giant to split its newspaper and broadcasting businesses.

Gannett said Tuesday it would create separate entities aimed at giving its broadcast and digital operations more freedom to flourish -- while its newspaper and publishing outfits would basically be debt free once they're spun off.

Gannett also said it would take full ownership of the Cars.Com buy and sell Web site for $1.8 billion.

The company owns USA Today and 81 other newspapers -- including 6 dailies in all of the Fox Valley and east central Wisconsin, plus 4 dailies in the central part of the state.

The AP says Gannett will join other large media firms in letting their fast growing broadcast and digital operations run freely, without being weighed down by declines in newspaper business.

Robert Dickey, who heads Gannett's U.S. Community Publishing division, will become the CEO of the publishing segment. Current Gannett CEO Gracia Martore will keep that post with the new broadcast wing.

Headquarters for both will remain in McLean Virginia. The Gannett board must still approve the split, which could be finalized as early as next year.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)