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Gannett to Acquire WATL-TV Channel 36 in Atlanta

McLEAN, VA – Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) announced today that it has reached an agreement with Tribune Company to acquire WATL-TV, Channel 36, in Atlanta for $180 million. Gannett also will continue to own and operate WXIA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Atlanta.

The acquisition will create a third Gannett duopoly. The first is in Jacksonville, FL, where Gannett owns and operates WJXX-TV, the ABC affiliate and WTLV-TV, the NBC affiliate. A second duopoly will be created when the purchase of KTVD-TV Channel 20 in Denver is complete. Gannett owns K*USA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Denver.

The WATL acquisition will close at the conclusion of a regulatory review.

Currently a WB affiliate, WATL-TV will become a MyNetworkTV affiliate in September.

“Atlanta is a terrific TV community that is a perfect location for a duopoly such as this. And WATL-TV is a fine property, with great potential to complement WXIA,” said Roger Ogden, president and CEO of Gannett Broadcasting. “For Gannett, expanding our role here is good business and great for the community.”

Gannett Co., Inc. operates: W*USA, Washington, DC; WXIA, Atlanta; KARE, Minneapolis; WTSP, Tampa-St. Petersburg; WKYC, Cleveland; KPNX, Phoenix, KNAZ, Flagstaff; K*USA, Denver; KXTV, Sacramento; KSDK, St. Louis; WZZM, Grand Rapids, MI; WFMY, Greensboro, NC; WGRZ, Buffalo, NY; WTLV and WJXX, Jacksonville, FL; KTHV, Little Rock; WBIR, Knoxville, TN; WCSH, Portland, ME; WLTX, Columbia, SC; WMAZ, Macon, GA; and WLBZ, Bangor, ME.

Gannett also publishes 90 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns nearly 1,000 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom’s second largest regional newspaper company. Newsquest publishes more than 300 titles, including 17 daily newspapers, and a network of prize-winning Web sites. Gannett is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by its TV stations and newspapers including, one of the most popular news sites on the web.