In a letter on Wednesday, Tribune told Gannett's management that its board had reviewed the bid and decided that "the price reflected in the proposal understates the company's true value and is not in the best interests of our shareholders." It does not warrant "further discussion," the company said in a statement.
Tribune's rejection of Gannett's proposal, comes as the newspaper industry tackles declining circulation, high costs, shrinking advertising dollars and a broad shift toward digital content, leaving publishers rushing to consolidate or find new avenues of growth.
Gannett, in response, said in a statement on Wednesday it was committed to pursuing a deal and "intends to solicit withhold votes in order to advance shareholders."
In a statement on Monday, Gannett Chief Executive Robert Dickey urged Tribune shareholders to withhold their votes for board nominees during Tribune's June 2 annual meeting and send a "clear message" to Tribune's board to engage seriously.