GateHouse Media is deep in negotiations to buy the United States Today, Gannett – a merger that would create America's largest newspaper chain, The Post has learned.
Fairport, NY-based GateHouse – which owns nearly 700 papers over 39 states, including 156 diaries such as Columbus Dispatch in Ohio – owned by Fortress Investment Group, a hedge fund controlled by business tycoon Wesley Edens.
GateHouse is smaller than Gannett, which is already the largest newspaper chain in the United States by circulation. Nevertheless, a GateHouse subsidiary, New Media Investment Group, is able to purchase Gannett under the agreement, according to sources.
"It's about a 75% chance it happens," said one source.
There are complicated issues that remain, including GateHouse's assumption of Gannett's retirement obligations, a source said. Software integration is potentially another headache.
The source added that an agreement should have been completed two weeks ago.
"There is a lot to work with. It's very complicated," the source said.
GateHouse and Gannett did not immediately return calls.