SEC Watch: Gannett Can Keep Digital Rev Targets Secret Through 2011

You would think Gannett (NYSE: GCI) would want to trumpet its digital revenue targets for this year, considering that the publisher’s digital revenues continue to climb, not counting the declines at jobs site Careerbuilder. But Gannett’s request to keep its digital revenue goals confidential was granted by the Securities & Exchange Commission this week, according to Jim Hopkin’s Gannett Blog, which spotted a very brief 10-K filing issued this week.

The confidentiality request was filed a year ago with the SEC. Since it doesn’t have to release the revenue goals until 2011, Gannett does not have to reveal how close Chief Digital Officer Chris Saridakis is to getting his $4 million bonus, which was tied to digital revenue objectives when he was brought over from his role as CEO at Gannett’s rich media unit Pointroll two years ago.

Given the competitive pressures within the newspaper industry and Gannett’s relative digital success, it makes sense that it wouldn’t want to share too much information. Plus, the company, which has laid off thousands and has used limited furloughs and other cost-cutting efforts to maintain profitability, doesn’t want to provide any cause for schisms throughout its various properties.

There is also a degree of speculation about how well Saridakis is slated to do. For example, last year, another Gannett 10-K revealed that owners of social media tech builder Ripple6, which Gannett bought in Nov. ’08, $1.8 million through 2013 if they beat certain performance expectations. Saridakis had a stake in Ripple6 and its been estimated that Gannett acquired the social net tools provider for roughly $15 million.