The publisher of USA Today has acquired northern New Jersey newspaper The Record and other assets of the North Jersey Media Group.
Gannett Co. Inc., which already owns a host of papers in the state, said the merger creates New Jersey’s largest media company, with journalists and advertising representatives stretching across the state.
“Gannett continues to execute on its local market growth strategy,” Robert Dickey, president and CEO of Gannett, said. “This latest acquisition positions the company to be the leading news provider in the state of New Jersey.”
In addition to The Record, which is based in Woodland Park, Gannett will add the Herald News, and its affiliated digital properties, the Community News Group, the Magazine Group, and the Events Group.
They will join the Asbury Park Press based in Neptune, the Daily Record in Morristown, the Courier News in Somerville, the Home News Tribune which covers Middlesex County, the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill and The Daily Journal in Vineland.
“We will continue to build upon its legacy of strong journalism, successful community engagement and effectively connecting advertisers to the audiences they seek,” said John Zidich, president of domestic publishing for Gannett. “We are focused on being the best news organization in the state.”
Gannett executives said the acquisition would add $90 million in annual revenue. The price was not disclosed.
The Record has been owned by the Borg family since 1930. It has a storied history that includes being named a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for photography in 2001 and a finalist again for its coverage of illegal substances in 2013. It was lauded more recently for its groundbreaking stories about the Bridgegate scandal, the bridge closure scandal in Fort Lee.
“It is a bittersweet day for the Borg family as we are leaving the business after 86 years,” Malcolm A. Borg, chairman of the board, North Jersey Media Group, said. “However, we are very pleased that Gannett is acquiring The Record and North Jersey’s other media outlets. We have great respect for Gannett, which is strong in the competitive New York/New Jersey market. We think this is a great fit culturally for North Jersey and for Gannett as both are fully dedicated to fostering outstanding journalism, delivering for our advertisers and helping to build better communities.”
The merger comes as the newspaper industry has lost revenue to the internet and tries to reinvent itself to reach readers online.
McLean, Va.-based Gannett has aggressively acquired newspapers since it split from its television and digital properties a year ago.
Since then, it has added the Journal Media Group, whose newspapers include the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn. It has 4,000 journalists nationwide who write not only for their own newspapers, but also the USA Today Network. In recent weeks, Gannett purchased ReachLocal, an online marketing and solutions company for small to mid-sized businesses.