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Newspaper Roundup: Gannett; Orange County Register-LAT; Transcontinental Media; Tribune

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Gannett August revs drop 16.8 percent (PDF): Given the troubles in the financial services sector this week, the newspaper industry’s woes hardly seem to measure up. But August was still another month of declines, as Gannett (NYSE: GCI) said that publishing revs fell 16.8 percent versus the same month in 2007, while op revs were 9.5 percent lower from the year before. The main culprit was classifieds, which plummeted 28 percent year-over-year. Even at flagship USA Today, ad revenue decreased 13.5 percent. Online percentages were not broken out.

Orange County Reg considers sale, tie-up with LAT (via Romenesko): The Orange County Register has attracted the attention of two possible buyers, entrepreneurs/philanthropists George Argyros and Larry Higby. Separately, the California daily is talking to Tribune Company’s LAT about sharing some operations.

Canadian newspaper co. gives pubs digital overhaul: Canada’s Transcontinental Media is giving its 170 daily, bi-monthly and weekly pubs the e-paper treatment. It’s working with e-paper company NewsDirect. Transcontinental 12 dailies have already started their e-paper rollout, with the rest of its properties joining them over the next few months.

LAT staffers sue Zell over ‘misuse’ of employee stocks: A group of current and former LAT staffers have filed suit in federal court alleging that Tribune Company CEO and chairman Sam Zell of misused the employee stock ownership plan, which Zell was able to use to acquire a controlling interest in the company. Dan Neil, a former car critic and one of the plaintiffs, said “The ESOP law was not written so companies could be taken over like this. It’s an abuse of the ESOP structure and, I think, a fairly obvious effort to avoid paying taxes.”