Second-largest U.S. newspaper group up for sale

Leading newspapers in Digital First Media group include the San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Daily News and Denver Post

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Digital First Media, the second largest U.S. newspaper group, said Friday it was studying a sale of the company among "strategic alternatives" to cope with a shifting media landscape.

"The news information industry in America is undergoing a period of seismic change, defined by the need to consolidate to rapidly compete in a digital world," said John Paton, chief executive of the group created in December by the merger of Media News Group and the Journal Register Company.

Leading newspapers in the group include the San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Daily News and Denver Post.

A statement from the group said some of the options being considered were the sale of the company as whole, or one or more "regional clusters" of newspapers.

"The companies that will succeed are those which have meaningful scale and digital expertise. By anticipating the rapid revolution in our industry and responding to stay ahead of the curve," Paton said.

The news comes in the wake of spinoffs by major U.S. media companies of their newspaper and magazine assets.

Gannett, which is the largest U.S. newspaper group, announced plans last month to split into two separate companies, one for broadcast and digital, and the other for newspapers, including its national daily USA Today.

Digital First was created last year, forming a group with some 800 print and online news products, in an effort to get the scale to cope with the new media environment.

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