Media giants Gannett and GateHouse Media merged on Monday, making them by far the biggest news publisher in the country. Combined, the company will have control of over 260 daily newspapers in the United States, and more than 300 weeklies. The conglomerate will reportedly go by Gannett and will operate out of Gannett’s current home in McLean, Virginia. The merger is intended to cut costs by centralizing operations, and allow the new company to move forward on its digital business. Local newspapers have had difficulty adapting to the digital-news landscape, a crucial transformation in media.
Centralizing operations could indicate more layoffs in local newsrooms now controlled by Gannett. The companies estimate they can save up to $300 million in annual costs within two years. “We believe this transaction will create value for our shareholders, greater opportunities for our employees, and a stronger future for journalism,” said Michael Reed, CEO of New Media Investment Group, which owns GateHouse Media, in a statement.