The number of big city dailies on the market for sale is about to rise sharply.
These papers are viewed by many analysts as dinosaurs, and ones that will never make money. The losses from their print editions have not been covered by online sales. At many, online sales have slowed or even reversed. That means these papers will have to resort to extraordinary efforts as they try to move toward breakeven.
If there is any precedent, huge job cuts may be one solution. Another may be to cut the papers from daily publication to three times a week. This saves printing, distribution and paper costs, but may alienate readers. There are only so many buyers of large dailies to go around, which means that with several for sale, prices for these may be pushed down.
Tribune Co has hired investment banks Evercore Partners and J.P. Morgan to assess interest in its newspaper unit, which includes The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, the company confirmed in a statement on Tuesday.
A sale of its eight major newspapers, which also include The Baltimore Sun, has been widely expected since Tribune emerged from a four-year bankruptcy process late last year.