Digitization represents an incrementally competence-destroying technology change for legacy news companies. This study analyses strategic and operational renewal of six incumbent news publishers in the UK, Finland, and Switzerland based on narratives of their annual reports. Their digital journey is coined by two transformations: digitizing news business operations and lateral diversification into non-news-related digital markets. Thereby, willpower represents a corporate capacity that indicates the willingness for renewal. Lateral diversification renews the companies’ profit formula, which leads to a negative cost-benefit perception regarding future investments in digital journalism by some incumbents. These incumbents communicatively prepare to incrementally abandon their core journalism business. From the communicative constitution of organizations (CCO) perspective, annual report narratives represent instruments for legitimizing corporate restructuring and repositioning.