NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tronc, (TRNC) formerly known as Tribune Publishing and Gannett (GCI) could make a different type of deal, rather than a merger, work down the line, Tronc Chairman Michael Ferro said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday morning.
"Is there a possibility a different type of deal could ultimately get done? That it's not over?" CNBC's Andrew Sorkin asked Ferro on the show.
"Absolutely. If it's in the best interest of our shareholders, yes," Ferro answered.
However, "there's no current conversation" happening between the two publishing companies at the moment, he added.
His comments come after Gannett pulled out of merger deals with Tronc on Tuesday after months of arguing about a price, the New York Times reported. Tronc rejected two offers from Gannett back in April, but the two companies came to an agreement on an $18.75-per-share, or about $683 million price tag, in September.
"We've been saying yes to $18.75 for a long time," Ferro told Sorkin.
Tronc was "as surprised as anyone" when the deal fell through this week, Ferro said. The deal wasn't possible because Gannett just "couldn't get it financed."
The Board at Tronc was always skeptical about where Gannett was going to get the money from, Ferro said, claiming Gannett "never had the money."
"Gannett had no balance sheet. So even when we were talking to them and being pushed to make decisions so quickly, the real issue we even had is you need to have committed financing," he explained.
Looking forward, the industry needs more consolidation to happen and Tronc needs to "figure out how to get paid for our journalism," he said.
Shares of Tronc were lower in mid-morning trading, while shares of Gannett were higher.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
TheStreet Ratings team rates Tronc as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. The primary factors that have impacted the team's rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: TRNC