Gannett realizes that consumers are changing the way they access content every day, and advertisers are working hard to find the best ways to reach them. The Company is looking at enhancing its core assets and building digital businesses, designed to provide solutions for both consumers and advertisers.
The building of the various digital businesses is the focal point of Gannett’s strategic initiatives. It has been experiencing solid growth in online revenues, which was up almost 17% for 2Q07. Domestic newspaper sites generated over 12% growth and in the UK, Newsquest online growth was up about 49%. In the broadcasting segment that increase was about 34%, and at USA Today about 11%.
Gannett is working on becoming the largest local content aggregator and distributor. Local seems to be the way for Gannett and it has already made some progress with the recent launch of over 100 mobile sites that provide local information. The Company is looking at creating value in its businesses by being the leader in the local content business both in the old and digital media space.
The Company has a reasonable portfolio of Internet properties catering to the Jobs, Real Estate, and Auto segments. Gannett’s CareerBuilder has already emerged as the number one job site.
The Company doesn’t have any presence in the online match-making / dating, sports, and Business and Finance space. It needs to plug these gaps in the portfolio. It also needs to consolidate its position in the real estate and auto spaces.
The management of the Company has already indicated that it is evaluating various online properties for acquisition. Gannett is currently testing a site dedicated to pets called Paws.com.
The Company is moving to an audience-based selling to better monetize its properties. Sales at Classified Ventures LLC, which posts online classified ads for cars, apartments and homes, are expected to hit $425 million this year-up 28% over 2006. CareerBuilder LLC, now the largest online job-postings site, is growing at 36%.
Web 2.0 companies looking for exists should look carefully into Gannett’s activities, as several of them could find interesting acquisition opportunities in there.