In a deal driven by the industry’s struggles w/a decline of printed editions, two of the country’s largest newspaper chains – Parent company of GateHouse Media and Gannett (best known for owning USA Today) – agreed to combine their businesses a couple of days ago. Together, they’ll have more than 260 daily papers in the U.S. along w/more than 300 weeklies. It would be the largest U.S. newspaper company by far, w/a print circulation of 8.7 million. Put that in your digital ad dollar pipe and smoke it, Google and Facebook! That’s the point of this $1.4 billion consolidation, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, assuming everything goes according to plan?

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