Frank E. Gannett
From humble editor to a multimedia business leader. Frank Gannett saw a business model that worked, perfected it and raised the stakes of his business empire.
Today, Gannett Company, Inc. houses multiple town and city newspapers, and radio and television stations, making it the largest media chain in terms of its number and total circulation in the United States.
Frank E. Gannett – Growing a Small Business into a Billion-Dollar Conglomerate
Gannett, born in 1876 in Bristol, New York, attended Cornell University where he worked at the school’s publication. In 1989, Gannett was the campus’ contributing writer for Ithaca Journal. A year had passed and Gannett was formally invited by Ithaca in 1900 to be its city editor. For years, Gannett served as its managing editor, business manager and eventually its owner in 1912.
Gannett’s first business venture took off when he got hold of half of the shares of Elmira Gazette in 1906. This year also marked the birth of his media enterprise, Gannett Company. After a year, Gannett successfully merged Elmira Gazette and Elmira Star (now known as Star-Gazette).
This merger, which made the newspaper more competitive, became Gannett’s business model. From then on, he was busy with acquiring and merging many other subsequent small- and medium-sized newspapers.
Dominating the publishing industry encouraged Gannett to venture into broadcasting. He thus acquired the WHQ radio station in 1922. Other acquisitions include Ronchester, Hartford, Times-Union and USA Today. All in all, the Gannett multimedia chain has more than 30 newspaper conglomerates and numerous television and radio stations across America. As of 2003, the Gannett Company earned a total of $6.3 billion.
The Frank E. Gannett Quick Bio
Full name: Frank Ernest Gannett
Birthdate: September 15, 1876
Birthplace: Bristol, New York
Company: Gannett Company, Inc.
Industry: Publishing Media
Key success traits: focused, goal-specific, strategic, a man who seizes opportunities
Frank Gannett’s management style can be classified as lenient as far as his editors were concerned. His only real ‘rule’ was to strictly NOT accept liquor ads in his papers.