a new plan to centralize digital content contracting, the well-known Gannett Blog poster known as "My Boss" says representatives of Gannett, USA Today and News Corp. have been discussing a possible combination of news, advertising and other content operations. News Corp.'s properties include The Wall Street Journal.
I have now confirmed that these talks have, indeed, been underway. I do not know their current status, however. (Updated at 3:58 p.m. ET to reflect my source's belief that these talks cover subjects beyond news content development.) Following are key portions of My Boss' post:
"This is the first step in the eventual News Corp. and Gannett/USA Today paid content agreement. There are some big implications for digital sales for newspapers and USAT. Jack Williams has been meeting with Jon Miller at News Corp. to discuss one delivery mechanism for all local content and for USAT to combine news operations within WSJ and sales within News Corp."
Some context: Any such deal with News Corp. would come amid USA Today's flagging circulation and advertising sales, which have lagged other Gannett newspapers as the U.S. economy struggles to regain its footing after the Great Recession.
Know about a reported USA Today staff meeting on Thursday? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.
[Image: today's paper, Newseum]