Infection Successfully Quarantined

The bold actions we are announcing today are significant next steps in our ongoing initiatives to increase shareholder value by building scale, increasing cash flow, sharpening management focus, and strengthening all of our businesses to compete effectively in today’s increasingly digital landscape.

Delivering a quote for a press release, or for a corporate announcement, represents a difficult problem for media executives. Here, Gannett CEO Gracia Martore gives a statement to Gannett’s own USA Today about a plan to split the company into two parts, isolating its broadcasting and digital investments from its not-at-all-doomed newspapers, creating, she says, “two companies that will be among the largest and strongest in their peer groups.” The Gannett journalists among her audience are likely proud of their ability to understand what people really mean when prevented from speaking directly, either by fear or simple pressure. They read the obfuscating phrase “different peer groups” and know they being talked down to; they hear “readership” replaced by that meaningless word, “scale,” and they know that they are increasingly at the mercy of impatient shareholders. Martore knows they know this, and then has to deliver the statement anyway. At least the new newspaper won’t have any debt! Elsewhere in “scale,” the Washington Post just had its best online month ever. [Pic via]