USA Today owner Gannett now has only one chief executive officer.
After New Media Investment Group, owner of the newspaper chain GateHouse Media, acquired Gannett in a roughly $1.4 billion deal last year, it was revealed that the newly formed company would keep the name Gannett, but have two ceo’s.
Existing Gannett ceo Paul Bascobert would be in charge of operating company Gannett Media Corp. Mike Reed, New Media’s boss since 2006, became chairman and ceo of the newly-combined public business Gannett Co.
But after less than a year, the board has decided to streamline Gannett Media’s operating structure, eliminating Bascobert’s position. Reed will assume his responsibilities.
The board was quick to state, though, that Bascobert’s departure is not the result of “any inappropriate action, any violation of company policy, any accounting irregularity or any material deterioration in the business of the company” and that it was a mutual agreement.
“The board and I would like to thank Paul for his contributions during such an important period for our company,” said Reed. “Paul made a significant impact, helping to integrate the two companies, navigate through this current pandemic and lay the groundwork for our revenue transformation.”
Bascobert only joined the company 10 months ago and oversaw the merger. Prior to that, he was president of XO Group.
He added: “I am proud of the progress Gannett has made in bringing together two great media companies. It is a terrific team with a bright future. I remain committed to the importance of journalism in our country and wish nothing but great success for Gannett.”
Like many other media companies, Gannett, the owner of 250-plus daily newspapers, has been struggling as the coronavirus has hit advertising hard. In March, it furloughed some journalists and reduced executives’ salaries by 25 percent. Bascobert waived his salary for the foreseeable future. There has also been a number of layoffs, although the company has not released exact numbers.