Gannett to buy Milwaukee's Journal Media

Gannett Co. is buying Milwaukee newspaper company Journal Media Group for $280 million, officials for the companies announced. Journal Media publications dot the Midwest and South and include the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Memphis Commercial-Appeal. Industry experts say the publications are a natural fit for Gannett's strategy of maximizing short-term profits through managing the decline of publications in less competitive markets. Gannett's "prevailing strategy is economy of scale," which involves reducing local costs and consolidating many operations, analyst Ken Doctor said, adding that layoffs are likely to follow the deal.

Monsanto to cut 2,600 jobs as sales fall

Monsanto Co. said it will eliminate 2,600 jobs as part of a cost-saving plan designed to deal with falling sales of its biotech seeds and herbicides, which pushed its quarterly losses deeper into the red. The job cuts will reduce the company's 22,500-employee workforce of by about 12 percent over the next two years. The St. Louis-based agricultural giant predicts the move will generate between $275 million and $300 million in annual savings by the end of fiscal 2017. The cost of the reorganization — which will streamline sales, R&D and other departments — is estimated at $850 million to $900 million.

Consumer borrowing rises to record

U.S. consumer borrowing advanced at a solid pace in August, as Americans took out more auto and student loans. The Federal Reserve said that consumer borrowing rose by $16 billion in August, pushing the total to a fresh record of $3.47 trillion. The August advance was slightly below the July gain of $18.9 billion. In June, credit had soared by $27.2 billion, the largest increase since November 2001. Borrowing for car and student loans expanded by $12 billion in August. Borrowing in the category that covers credit cards rose by $4 billion.

Discounter TJX names insider next CEO

TJX, the company behind T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and other discount stores, named President Ernie Herrman as the retailer's next CEO. He will replace current CEO Carol Meyrowitz on Jan. 31. Meyrowitz, 61, will continue to be chairman of the board and has agreed to stay with the company for three years. She has been CEO of TJX since 2007. Herman, 54, has worked at TJX for about 26 years, and was named president in 2011. During Meyrowitz's nine-year period at the helm, she spearheaded the company's store expansion.

Amazon, Accenture offer cloud consulting

Amazon.com and consulting giant Accenture are teaming up to provide cloud-based technology services and consulting to businesses, catapulting the Web retailer further into territory long dominated by companies such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM Corp. The deal, announced at a company event in Las Vegas, will create a group staffed by Amazon and Accenture employees that will provide consulting and technology services to businesses. The team will focus on helping businesses move existing applications into the Amazon cloud, and design new products, with an emphasis on data analysis.

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