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GateHouse Media ready to buy Gannett



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.


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