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Gannett Declares 4 Cent Dividend

MCLEAN, VA. Gannett declared a dividend this week as its largest investor gave it a shout out. The media company’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 4 cents a share payable Oct. 1, 2009, for shareholders of record at COB Sept. 11, 2009.

Gannett’s (NYSE:GCI) taken a lot of hits this year for its debt, rated junk by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. The chief of Chicago’s Ariel Investments, Gannett’s largest investor, shot back this week, saying the company was in a position to beat analyst estimates for the next year-and-a-half. John Rogers, Jr., told Bloomberg that newspapers would rebound over the next two years. Gannet has nearly 1,000 newspapers here and abroad, in addition to its 23 TV stations. Ariel held 28.5 million shares, or 12 percent of GCI as of March 31, Bloomberg said.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

Previous TVB coverage of Gannett:
July 15, 2009: “Gannett 2Q TV Revenues Dip 20 Percent”
Gannett’s 23 TV stations generated $148.4 million in 2Q09 compared to $184.8 million a year ago. Including Gannett’s Captivate digital signage business, the segment generated $153 million in the quarter compared to $192.6 million last year.

June 25, 2009: “Bondholders Bet Against Gannett
“Because of the credit crisis, an unfortunate bunching of credit maturities and a debilitating number of so-called negative-basis trades featuring credit-default swaps--all in addition to the industry’s secular and cyclical downturns--Gannett as we know it will be lucky to last through June 2011.”

June 19, 2009: “Gannett Shares Inch Back from CEO Concerns
Shares of Gannett have slipped 8 percent since the company announced its chief executive was taking medical leave. The media company announced Monday that Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow was taking temporary medical leave following a back surgery.

April 16, 2009: “Gannett TV Station Revenues Drop 16 Percent
Gannett’s 23 TV stations generated positive cash flow for the struggling media company in 1Q09. Operating cash flow was $52.7 million in 1Q09 for the stations and the company’s digital signage business combined. Broadcasting and DS revenues totaled $143.5 million in the quarter compared to $170.2 million in 1Q08. The decline was attributed to weakness in the auto and retail ad categories, and the disappearance of political advertising, which generated $5 million during the year-earlier period.
April 7, 2009: “Gannett Offers Higher Interest in Debt Exchange
Gannett said it has commenced a private exchange offer for $200 million in notes due in 2011 and 2012. The media company is offering to swap $1,000 in new 10 percent senior notes due 2015 for an equal sum of 5.75 percent notes due 2011. For every $1,000 of its 6.375 percent notes due 2012, Gannett will issue 10 percent senior notes due 2016.

March 23, 2009: “Gannett Continues Compulsory Furloughs
Gannett is repeating the money-saving strategy of one-week furloughs in the upcoming quarter. The company employs around 31,000 people, who were required to take a week without pay during the first quarter of the year, saving the company a reported $20 million.

January 30, 2009: “Gannett TV Station Revenue Holds Steady
Gannett’s 23 TV stations pulled in $205.6 million during 4Q08, the McLean, Va., multimedia company said this week in preliminary results for the period. The stations edged out 4Q07 revenues by nearly 2 percent. Gannett nonetheless warned that 1Q09 results would likely be down year-over-year by roughly 15 percent.

Jan. 15, 2009: “Gannett’s Game Plan
Virginia-based media empire Gannett said it will send its entire workforce home without pay for one week, and freeze wages for the year, to avoid cutting jobs. The payless period is supposed take affect during the first quarter of this year. Gannett (NYSE: GCI) has more than 31,000 employees; 3,000 cuts were announced last August. Craig Dubow, chairman, president and CEO of Gannett, is taking the furlough as well.