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Report: Newspaper Chains Gannett, GateHouse In Merger Talks

The Herald Times Building

Gatehouse bought the Herald-Times earlier this year. (Steve Burns, WTIU/WFIU News)

The company that bought the Bloomington Herald-Times and nine other southern Indiana newspapers earlier this year is in "advanced talks" to combine with another of the country's largest newspaper companies. 

That's according to a Wall Street Journal report that cites unidentified people familiar with the matter.

The Journal says that Gannett Co., the owner of USA Today, and GateHouse Media, the owner of the Austin American-Statesman, Palm Beach Post and many papers in small- and mid-sized towns, are nearing a deal that would have GateHouse or its parent buy Gannett.

New Media Investment Group, itself a unit of private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, owns GateHouse. Fortress' owner is Japanese tech giant SoftBank, which also owns U.S. wireless carrier Sprint.

GateHouse, New Media and Fortress did not immediately reply to messages. Gannett declined to comment.

It's unclear how the Herald-Times or other Indiana newspapers could be impacted by the merger. 

Newspapers have been combining to weather the decline in print ad sales.

Barbara Brosher contributed to this report. 

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