Gannett, Belo to merge in $1.5 billion deal

Gannett, the company that owns USA Today, a large group of newspapers and a portfolio of television stations across the country, entered an agreement to merge with the Belo Corporation.

The $1.5 billion deal will include Gannett's acquisition of Belo's outstanding shares at a cost of $13.75 per share.

The deal makes Gannett the fourth-largest owner of television affiliates in the United States. In premarket trading, Belo Corp.'s shares jumped 28 percent on the news. Gannett Co.'s stock rose 21 percent.

Both companies expect the merger to be complete by the end of 2013. The Federal Communications Commission must still approve the deal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.