Gannett, the owner of USA TODAY, said Tuesday that it will create two publicly traded companies next year as it moves to separate its broadcasting and digital businesses from its publishing division, a strategic move similarly adopted by competitors to shield more profitable business lines from the decline in print advertising.
The broadcasting and digital company, which will be renamed and headed by Martore, will own or provide services to 46 television stations and operate several websites — CareerBuilder.com and Cars.com — that are not tied to newspapers. Gannett also said Tuesday that it will buy all Cars.com shares it doesn't already own from Classified Ventures, totaling about 73%, for $1.8. billion in cash, and the move nearly doubles its digital business.
The planned spinoff of the publishing business, including USA TODAY, 81 other daily newspapers and their affiliated websites, will be implemented through a tax-free distribution of its publishing assets to shareholders.
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