Gannett Co. has acquired controlling interest in CareerBuilder.com with the purchase of an additional 10 percent stake from cash-strapped Tribune Company. Gannett paid $135 million to tip 50.8 percent of the U.S.’s largest recruitment site.

Tribune now owns 30.8 percent of CareerBuilder. The transaction didn’t change the shares of the other two owners: The McClatchy Company still has its 14.4 percent; and Microsoft Corp. continues to own 4 percent.

In selling the shares, Sam Zell, Tribune’s chairman and CEO, said it was “an excellent opportunity to monetize some of the value CareerBuilder has built over the years, while enabling us to maintain a significant stake in a great online property.”

Tribune’s ad revenues have been sinking of late. Zell, who bought Tribune in 2007, has been trying to sell off properties in order to raise funds to keep from defaulting on loans. Tribune-owned Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field are also for sale.

While it’s not exactly oozing cash, McLean, Va.-based Gannett’s finances have been sound enough to pay stock dividends this last quarter — and take on some other recent acquisitions.

In June, Gannett spent $30 million to buy out Tribune’s and McClatchy’s shares of ShopLocal. Then in July, Gannett reportedly began merging ShopLocal’s operations into its PointRoll ad-services subsidiary, cutting back about half of ShopLocal’s Chicago-based staff. More recently, Gannett took a minority investment in Mogulus.com, an Internet video platform, to provide live broadcasting services across Gannett Web sites. Gannett owns more than 300 daily and weekly newspapers in the U.S. and U.K., 23 American TV stations and national newspaper USA Today.

So, it’s a company making moves — after having sat not exactly on the bleeding edge of the Internet for the past decade — and it’s a company not afraid to make hard changes. It’s not one known for its liberal employment salaries and benefits.

What might these moves mean for CareerBuilder.com? For now, not much. At the very least, it means its new majority owner is able to focus on something other than its looming debts.

“We are committed to CareerBuilder and want the team there to continue to do what they do best: grow the company, bring in revenues and deliver the best customer service in the jobs space. We don’t expect any major changes,” said Craig Dubow, Gannett’s chairman, president and CEO. “CareerBuilder is a terrific company, with great growth potential that just keeps delivering more for Gannett and our partners.”

What does CareerBuilder think it means? The company didn’t offer up a comment to us, instead directing inquiries to its corporate parents.

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