a media industry resource

Gannett: chronology


This chronology is indicative only. It covers -

  • beginnings (1906)
  • mergers and macpapers (1970)
  • Newquest
  • overseas expansion

Context is provided by the broader communications and media timeline on this site.


1906 Frank Gannett and associates buy 50% of Elmira (NY) Gazette

1912 buys Ithaca Journal

1918 merges two Rochester (NY) papers as Rochester Times-Union and forms Empire State Group

1922 Bingham's Courier-Journal launches WHAS Louisville

1923 Gannett buys out associates, forms Gannett Co

1923 buys Elmira Advertiser and Sunday Telegram

1943 Gannett News Service founded as Gannett National Service

1945 Gannett newspapers establish Telephoto Network photo service

1947 company operates 21 newspapers and seven radio stations

1957 death of Frank Gannett

1966 TODAY founded

1967 company goes public

Mergers and Mcpapers

1970 Al Neuharth becomes president

1971 merger with Federated Publications

1971 Gannett buys Honolulu Star-Bulletin

1977 merger with the Speidel Newspaper Group

1979 Neuharth becomes chairman

1979 merger with Combined Communications (billboards, papers, radio, tv), at that time the largest merger in US newspaper industry

1979 Gannett owns 78 daily newspapers in 33 US states and Guam, a national news service, seven television and 14 radio stations, outdoor advertising operations in the US and Canada, 21 weekly newspapers and the Louis Harris & Associates research group

1982 USA TODAY published via satellite

1982 Gannett buys Jackson Clarion-Ledger for US$110m

1985 buys Des Moines Register and papers in Independence, Indianola and Jackson from Cowles

1986 buys Arkansas Gazette (est 1819)

1988 sells Knoxville Journal

1990 buys Great Falls Tribune for US$41m

1991 sells Arkansas Gazette to Wehco Media

1992 sells Phoenix billboard operation to Eller

1993 buys Honolulu Advertiser from Thurston Twigg-Smith for US$250m

1993 sells Honolulu Star-Bulletin to Liberty Newspapers

1995 Gannett buys Multimedia Inc


1995 UK newspaper group Newsquest formed from £210m management buyout of Reed newspapers backed by junk-bond specialist KKR

1996 Newsquest sells Doncaster Newspapers to Johnston for £15m

1996 buys Bury Times and other papers from Johnston for £5.7m

1996 sells Midlands North titles to Midland Independent Newspapers for £12m

1996 buys Westminster Press group from Pearson for £298m

1996 Gannett sells outdoor advertising division

1996 Gannett sells Louis Harris and Associates

1996 joins Knight-Ridder and Landmark in InfiNet

1997 sells last five radio stations to Evergreen Media

1997 buys Army Times Publishing Company

1997 sells Niagara Gazette and sister papers to CNHI for US$22m

1997 swaps WLWT-TV Cincinnatti and KOCO-TV Oklahoma City for Hearst's WZZM-TV and WGRZ-TV

1997 buys Asbury Park Press

1997 Newsquest floated on London Stock Exchange with market capitalisation of £500m

1998 buys Contact-a-Car

1998 Gannett buys Maine Broadcasting's WCSH-TV and WLBZ-TV for US$115m

1998 Newsquest buys Kinsman Reed and Review Group (northern England newspapers)

1998 buys London Property Weekly titles

Expansion overseas

1999 Gannett UK buys Newsquest for £1.057bn

1999 buys KXTV10 from Belo

2000 Gannett sells cable division to Cox Communications

2000 buys Newscom, eighth largest UK regional newspaper publisher, for £525m

2000 buys 19 daily newspapers in US from Thomson Newspapers, inc Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum

2000 buys Central Newspapers (Arizona Republic and Indianapolis Star) for US$2.6bn

2000 sells Marin Independent Journal to MediaNews

2001 buys Surrey & Sussex Publishing and Horley Publishing in UK

2001 buys Dimbleby Newspaper Group (9 UK titles) for reported £12m

2002 buys SMG's Herald newspapers (inc Glasgow Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times) for £216m

2003 agreement to buy 45 Greater London newspapers (inc Hackney Gazette, Post Newspaper series and Kentish Times series) from INM for £60m, later quashed by UK competition agency

2005 buys Detroit Free Press and Tallahassee Democrat from Knight Ridder

2005 sells Detroit News to MediaNews

2005 Newsquest pays £50.25m for United's Exchange & Mart and Auto Exchange magazine

2006 Gannett buys Tribune's Atlanta television station WATL for US$180m