Thursday, September 26, 2013

Report: Gannett is selling Captivate Network

[Updated at 8:25 p.m. ET with Corporate's confirmation.] Gannett is spinning off Captivate, the broadcaster of news and advertising in office building elevators, in a deal with financing from private equity shop Generation Partners. Gannett will keep an ownership stake, but the size isn't spelled out.

My original post: That's the Broadcasting division's service providing news and advertising in nearly 10,000 elevators in office buildings and hotels across 25 cities in North America.

The report by the Daily DOOH is just two paragraphs:

"Gannett acquired the assets of Captivate Network back in 2004 but (as always) you heard it hear first, that sometime in the next 24 hours, it will be announced that the network has been sold to a private equity firm.

"Expect a flurry of CVs to hit the streets (oh wait, they already have) and an official announcement probably later today but definitely no later than 24 hours."

I've never heard of the Daily DOOH. So the usual caveats apply, given the fact the site doesn't attribute today's report to even an unidentified source.

Gannett did not reveal a purchase price or other terms when it bought Captivate more than nine years ago. It's become a substantially bigger business since then. At the time, Corporate said Captivate had about 1.4 million viewers of screens in 400 buildings, with more than 1,000 buildings in 35 markets under contract in 35 markets.

Why sell now?
It would seem like an odd time to sell, given Gannett's bulking up of the Broadcasting division with the $1.5 billion purchase of Belo, approved by that TV company's shareholders only yesterday.

Broadcasting had a stellar year in 2012 because of a surge of advertising for the national election and the London Olympics. It looks like Corporate doesn't break out Captivate's financial results in quarterly or annual regulatory filings, however.

Captivate is based in the Boston area's Chelmsford, Mass.


  1. Maybe Gannett is selling the site in retaliation for ignoring Corporate's directive to put the line "A Gannett Company" on its homepage?

  2. I've now been told Corporate's been looking for a buyer since 2011.

  3. Gannett got rid of captivate when it was unable to pump in elevator Muzak, including management favs like Pat Boone and Wayne Newton. Cutting edge, as usual. Look for more useful Beusse acquisitions and chest thumping self praise.


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