The Gannett Company isn't the first media company to split its business in two, but it's the latest. Gannett, the owner of USA Today announced on August 5 that it will create a new company for its print products in 2015. On the digital side, it owns CareerBuilder and Cars.com. This sort of split is becoming a time-honored tradition of sorts, after companies like News Corp. and Time Warner paved the way.
But Gannett's new division will have an advantage over some of its forebearers--a lack of debt. According to the New York Times, the print division won't be saddled with any debt and after being split off from the broadcasting division will be able to acquire new media outlets that it could not have otherwise because of regulations.
In fact, this move starts to look more like an end-run around media regulations rather than a strict print-digital divide. "We can now do smart, accretive acquisitions of community newspapers in an unlevered company where they can create tremendous synergies," Gannet CEO Gracia C. Martore told The Times.