Gannett says it will appeal an Oklahoma District Court decision that found company liable for defamation, saying newspaper did not know what it reported was false and it wasn't published with malicious intent; judge awards plaintiff US$25M

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MCLEAN, Virginia , February 8, 2024 (press release) –

Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) was named as a defendant in a lawsuit titled Scott O. Sapulpa v. Gannett Co., Inc. in District Court in the State of Oklahoma.

Following a trial, a jury returned a verdict finding Gannett liable for defamation and awarded plaintiff actual damages of $5 million. The jury also found in favor of the plaintiff on claims of actual malice and intentional infliction of emotional distress and awarded him $20 million in punitive damages.

Gannett is disappointed with the verdict as no credible evidence was presented to the jury that The Oklahoman acted with any awareness that what was reported was false or with any intention to harm the plaintiff in this case. Gannett believes that the jury verdict was a result of errors in the way the Court administered the case and a flawed trial process.

Gannett intends to seek appellate review of the case.

The amount of damages awarded, if any, would be covered by insurance and Gannett does not expect a material impact to its financials or liquidity.


Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is a subscription-led and digitally-focused media and marketing solutions company committed to empowering communities to thrive. With an unmatched reach at the national and local level, Gannett touches the lives of millions with our Pulitzer Prize-winning content, consumer experiences and benefits, and advertiser products and services. Our current portfolio of media assets includes The USA TODAY NETWORK, which includes USA TODAY, and local media organizations in 43 states in the United States, and Newsquest, a wholly-owned subsidiary operating in the United Kingdom. We also own digital marketing services companies under the brand LocaliQ, which provide a cloud-based platform of products to enable small and medium-sized businesses to accomplish their marketing goals. In addition, our portfolio includes one of the largest media-owned events businesses in the U.S., USA TODAY NETWORK Ventures.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain items in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements regarding our business outlook, digital revenue performance, our ability to develop and implement quality assurance programs for our product releases and our ability to identify and remediate problems in connection with such product releases. Words such as "expect(s)", "plan(s)", "believes(s)", "will", "target", "outlook" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. These and other risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements, many of which are beyond our control. The Company can give no assurance its expectations will be attained. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements contained in this press release. For a discussion of some of the risks and important factors that could cause actual results to differ from such forward-looking statements, see the risks and other factors detailed from time to time in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10- K, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and our other filings with the

Securities and Exchange Commission. Furthermore, new risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for the Company to predict or assess the impact of every factor that may cause its actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Except to the extent required by law, the Company expressly disclaims any obligation to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations with regard thereto or change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.

Lark-Marie Anton
Senior Vice President, Communications
(646) 906-4087

Trisha Gosser
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations
(703) 854-6708

Source: Gannett Co., Inc.

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