Now, here's what's really incredible. Many newspaper companies have had to file for bankruptcy over the years because of the web. Not Gannett. The other major survivor, the , New York Times (NYT), had a chance to do all of these things and never executed on it.
Seven years ago, it sold its nine local television stations to a private-equity firm for $575 million. It had a chance to dominate in real estate listings, because the vast majority of homes in New York City are sold because of digital ads from the Times. All it had to do was take a cut, and it could have used the proceeds to become Zillow (Z), or at least rival it. But the Paper of Record never thought big enough.
In short, Gannett turned out to be not just the survivor, but the thriver, all the while offering a very juicy 80 cent dividend, which the company boosted from 32 cents two years ago when people were busy writing this company's obituary. It's one of the great success stories and successful stocks of the era, and it's a reminder that no company has to bemoan the cards that it is given.
You can throw in the deck, make some changes, and come out with a stock that's gone from $12 two years ago to $34 today. With this split, I think the ride is far from over.Random musings: Tim Collins is up tonight on ChartWeek! Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, had no positions in stocks mentioned.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 7:04 a.m. EDT on Real Money on Aug. 4.