Report: Gannett to acquire Facebook ad optimization company BLiNQ Media

Gannett Co., which owns USA Today and a number of digital media properties, has agreed to buy Facebook ad tech company BLiNQ Media for $92 million, according to TechCrunch sources.

Gannett, which already owns rich media ad company PointRoll and full-service digital agency GannettLocal, is likely looking to have a more direct connection with Facebook advertising as the industry grows. For example, The Washington Post last year started its own agency, SocialCode, which has access to the Facebook Ads API. TechCrunch says Gannett and BLiNQ have already been working together for about a year on ad campaigns for clients. BLiNQ is a Preferred Facebook Marketing Developer certified in the ads and insights categories.

It has been a summer of exits for a number of social marketing start-ups, including Buddy Media, Vitrue, Involver and Wildfire. TechCrunch says Gannett will pay $92 million for BLiNQ over a period of three to four years, with $23 million coming up front. The start-up was founded in 2008 by David Nicol Williams, who previously founded search marketing firm 360i. The company now has about 50 employees and has raised $3.1 million, according to CrunchBase.

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