Sick Burn — Gannett: MNG "Not Credible"; MNG: "Gannett's not Believable."


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Is it just me or is reality bending to look more like reality TV all the time?

In case you missed the news, Gannett has rejected a "vulture capital" firm's proposal to acquire the USA Today newspaper network and parent company to The Commercial Appeal.

Not only did Gannett reject MNG/Digital First Media's proposal, they also characterized the deal as being "not credible." That's not a complete surprise since the deal's prospects have ranged from "who knows?" to "it's all a sham" since it was announced and the market voiced its soulless approval.

“Buying Gannett is a tall task…I’m not sure Alden can get the financing to buy Gannett,” a media banker told The New York Post last week. The Post's story went on to note, "In fact, sources say that MNG’s ambition for years has been to be acquired by Gannett — and some speculate that friendly talks have already begun."


But Gannett's rejection was unsubtle: “Indeed, given MNG’s refusal to provide even the most basic answers to Gannett’s questions, it appears that MNG does not have a realistic plan to acquire Gannett." Shortly after the announcement MNG took its beef live.


MNG said in a statement that Gannett was the one to set up roadblocks to the discussion, which demonstrated that it was “not interested in seriously evaluating our premium cash proposal.”

MNG went on to say that Gannett’s plan for its digital businesses was “pie in the sky” and “not believable.”

This is in keeping with previous disses from Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund behind MNG/Digital First, which had previously released statements dogging “the team leading Gannett" for having, "not demonstrated that it’s capable of effectively running this enterprise.”

"The Death Star of Newspaper Chains," as  MNG had been called, still publicly insists that Gannett overpaid for digital assets and is currently "presiding over a declining core business," and cash flow. "Gannett’s deep structural problems are better fixed by experienced operators such as MNG,” MNG concluded.

Maybe this is all over now. Sniping happens when mergers loom. Still, it would make better television if, as the New York Post and Nieman Lab have considered, all this shit talk was just Alden Global secretly hoping to get with failed Gannett so the so called "pie in the sky" company could manage its newspaper properties too.    

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