Digital First Media, the media company that owns the San Jose Mercury News and The Daily News, announced Friday that it has hired an advisor to "explore strategic alternatives," which could include selling the company or one or more of its regional outlets.
Digital First Media, formed through a December 2013 merger of MediaNews Group and the former Journal Register Company, operates 76 daily newspapers and 160 weekly publications, including the Los Angeles Daily News and the Denver Post. It is the second-largest newspaper company in the United States by circulation and serves 75 million customers, the company said.
"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," Chief Executive Officer John Paton said in a press release. "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, DFM has clearly emerged as a leading player, based on the high quality of our assets and the extensive work we have done to transform them into multi-platform products that deliver outstanding local news and exceptional opportunities for advertisers."
"As a result, we believe we have many options available to us to maximize the value of our businesses for our stockholders, and the board of directors has therefore decided to assess the full range of those opportunities," he said.
The New York-based company has hired UBS Securities LLC to serve as financial advisor to its board of directors and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP as its legal advisor.
The company's announcement stresses that "there are no assurances that the process will result in a transaction(s) or on the terms or timing of such a transaction(s)." The board of directors has also not set a definitive schedule for completing the review process, the company said.
"It is the company's intention not to disclose developments with respect to the strategic review process until the Board has determined whether it will proceed with one or several transaction(s), or otherwise concludes its review," the press release states.