Gatehouse Media poised to buy Gannett

GateHouse Media is deep in talks to buy USA Today owner Gannett — a merger that would create America’s biggest newspaper chain, The Post has learned.

Fairport, NY-based GateHouse — which owns nearly 700 papers across 39 states, including 156 dailies like the Columbus Dispatch in Ohio — is owned by Fortress Investment Group, a hedge fund controlled by business tycoon Wesley Edens.

GateHouse is smaller than Gannett, which is already the biggest newspaper chain in the US by circulation. Nevertheless, a GateHouse subsidiary, New Media Investment Group, is poised to acquire Gannett under terms of the deal, according to sources.

“There’s about a 75 percent chance it happens,” a source said.

There are complicated issues that remain, including GateHouse’s assumption of Gannett’s pension liabilities, a source said. Software integration is potentially another headache.

The source added that a deal was supposed to have been completed about two weeks ago.

“There is a lot to work on. It’s very complicated,” the source said.

GateHouse and Gannett did not immediately return calls.

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