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Gannett splits; GM financial unit subpoenaed; LinkedIn settles unpaid overtime case

Gannett (GCI) announced this morning that it will split its print operations, including USA Today and 81 other daily U.S. newspapers, from its broadcast and digital operations. Gannett also said it will acquire the remaining 73% stake of Classified Ventures, owner of, that it doesn't already own for $1.8 billion. Classified Ventures will be a part of the broadcast and digital operations which will include and 46 television stations.

Gannett follows several other companies that have spun off their newspaper and print properties. Rupert Murdoch split the print-focused News Corp (NWS) from 21st-Century-Fox (FOX) last year. Time Warner (TWX) spun off Time Inc. (TIME), which is composed of print magazines. And last week Journal Communications (JRN) and Scripps (SSP) said they will combine their broadcasting assets into one company and their print in another.

General Motors (GM) is coming under scrutiny again. This time it’s the company’s financing unit, which has been subpoenaed by the Justice Department investigating subprime auto loans going back to 2007. GM said there are no allegations in the subpoena and the company is cooperating.

LinkedIn (LNKD) settled a case with the Labor Department and will pay nearly $6 million in unpaid overtime and damages in four states. The Labor Department said the company showed a great deal of integrity for working with investigators. LinkedIn said the problem was that tools weren't in place to properly track some members of its sales teams.

Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli said the issue was whether certain employees at LinkedIn were incorrectly categorized as exempt employees and therefore made ineligible for overtime pay. “What’s, of course, interesting about this, is that LinkedIn - as a company, as a brand - is all about upward professional mobility and getting ahead at work,” he said. “So clearly, they wanted to get out ahead of this.”

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