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Gannett to urge Tribune shareholders to withhold board slate vote

The Chicago Tribune building is seen in Chicago, April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

(Reuters) - Gannett Co Inc (GCI.N) plans to urge Tribune Publishing Co's (TPUB.N) shareholders to withhold their votes on election of board nominees as it looks to engage the publisher of Chicago Tribune in takeover talks.

Tribune's shareholders are scheduled to vote on the election of eight nominees to the company's board at its annual meeting on June 2.

Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, said last week it offered $12.25 per share in cash for Tribune.

Gannett Chief Executive Robert Dickey said in a statement on Monday that Tribune stockholders, by withholding their votes, could send a "clear message" to Tribune's board that it should engage in talks with the company.

Tribune's shares were down about 2 percent at $11.11 in noon trading on Monday.

(Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)