NY Times Co. in talks to sell regional newspapers

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New York—The New York Times Co. said it is negotiating the sale of its regional media group, which includes the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune and 15 other newspapers and related businesses in the Southeast, to Halifax Media Holdings. The move signals that the publisher of The New York Times plans to focus on its core business of delivering national and international news, industry observers said.

The announcement comes on the heels of the retirement of President-CEO Janet Robinson, who will leave the company at the end of the month. “The New York Times is slimming down to bulk up,” wrote Ken Doctor, an analyst for Outsell Inc., commenting on the potential sale. “It is no longer a newspaper company, with a strong national newspaper, a Boston cousin in the Globe and regional newspaper interests. It is a global news company whose future is mostly digital, and it will live or die on that adventure.”

Like many others, Doctor expects the Times Co. to look for a new CEO focused on digital. “Expect the new CEO, most likely from the outside, to be focused on three A's: audience, advertising and analytics,” Doctor wrote.

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