October 6, 2016 Last Updated 9:54 am

Gannett acquires Golfweek, events business and Golfweek Custom Media

Weekly golfing magazine was founded in 1975 and was the flagship of Turnstile Publishing Company, now it will join the USA TODAY Sports Media Group

The newspaper chain Gannett really wants to consolidate the newspaper industry, and its pursuit of trounce (Tribune Publishing) continues on, with some media reporting believing that a successful acquisition is only a matter of time.

Today, as you’ll see below, Gannett announced it had acquired Golfweek, along with its events and custom media efforts. Golfweek was launched in 1975 by Charley Stine when it was originally called Florida Golfweek Magazine – that’s 40 years ago, probably about as long as any privately launched title can be expected to be independently published. So, I doubt this is part of Gannett’s grand plan for the newspaper industry, but it is another acquisition, which means more cash, or more debt, needed to be used to make it.

Here is Gannett’s announcement:

MCLEAN, Va. & ORLANDO, Fla. – October 5, 2016 — Gannett Co., Inc., parent company for the USA TODAY NETWORK which currently comprises USA TODAY and 109 local media brands including Arizona Republic and Indianapolis Star, today announced the acquisition of an industry leader in golf publications, Golfweek, effective immediately.

golfweek-sept-300Golfweek will join the USA TODAY Sports Media Group, an “Official Media Partner” of the PGA TOUR since 2012, and part of the USA TODAY NETWORK which has more than 110 million unique monthly online visitors. The acquisition of this premium brand will accelerate Gannett’s efforts to be a leader in the golf vertical by adding Golfweek to For The Win! Golf and USA TODAY Golf and the NETWORK’s more than 5 million unique monthly avid golf fans.

The acquisition of Golfweek’s industry-leading editorial team, events business and Golfweek Custom Media will add significant value to Gannett’s suite of audience-focused, content-driven sports business, as well as an unmatched relationship with golf’s core demographic community. Golfweek has been the leading producer of event programs for some of golf’s biggest tournaments across the PGA TOUR, LPGA, PGA of America and United States Golf Association, including the 41st Ryder Cup. Also, since 1997, Golfweek has produced “Golfweek’s Best” annual Top 100 courses rankings from a panel of 750 evaluators rating more than 3,600 courses.

“Golfweek gives us amazing depth and expertise to bring to our strong golf audience across the USA TODAY NETWORK,” says Dave Morgan, president of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group, who will also serve as publisher of Golfweek. “We are thrilled to add such a trusted and respected brand as Golfweek to the USA TODAY family and are confident that this will provide tremendous new opportunities for Golfweek and our partners.”

“I have been fortunate to work alongside the talented team at Golfweek over the last 25 years. Their dedication to producing engaging golf content and experiences for Golfweek’s avid golfer audience will be a valuable asset to Gannett,” says Rance Crain, Golfweek’s chairman who will continue on as a special advisor to USA TODAY Sports Media Group.”

Morgan said Golfweek will continue to focus on being an authoritative voice in professional, college and amateur golf, in addition to growing its events and custom publishing businesses. Golfweek’s headquarters will remain in Orlando, Florida with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and McLean, Virginia (where Gannett is headquartered).

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