Gannett media empire sued over alleged race and gender discrimination

Plaintiffs say Gannett openly discriminates against straight White men

Gannett is a newspaper giant that publishes hundreds of local newspapers across 43 states. It also owns Newsquest Media Group, the second-largest newspaper publisher in the UK. Gannett also owns the business and marketing software company LocaliQ and the event company USA TODAY NETWORK Ventures. Some of Gannett’s larger newspapers include USA Today, The Detroit Free Press, The Arizona Republic, and The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Five former Garnett employees filed a discrimination lawsuit against the company in Virginia federal court.

Click here to see the lawsuit in *.pdf format.

According to the lawsuit, Gannett began providing newsrooms with concrete goals for the future demographic makeup of employees. This included specific racial and gender goals. Managers were allegedly given promotions, bonuses, and awards for discriminating against existing White employees and applicants.

The lawsuit maintains that Hollis Towns, who Gannett describes as “Editor & Diversity Leader,” told managers not to hire any new “straight White males.” In 2022, Towns was promoted to vice president of USA Today Network.

This video of Hollis Towns was published in 2020.

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