The latest development came after Tronc rejected a prior bid of $15 a share in May. Tronc was expected to respond at the end of the week, WSJ added. Details of the latest bid were not available. Tronc shares were at $15.28 in after-hours trade on Wednesday.
Gannett's pursuit of the newspaper chain started in April when it offered $12.25 a share for Tronc's former self, Tribune Publishing. Subsequent bids were repeatedly rejected as Chairman Michael W. Ferro Jr. said the company was worth more.
Gannett, which owns USA Today, has been scaling up. Its bid for Tronc came on the heels of its $280 million acquisition of Journal Media Group in April.
Gannett and Tronc didn't immediately respond to emailed requests for comment from CNBC, sent outside of regular office hours.
To read the full WSJ report, click here.