[UPDATED] Tribune hires bankers to sell off its newspapers unit


CNBC reports that Tribune Co. has hired JPMorgan Chase and Evercore Partners to sell its newspaper properties, which include the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, and Chicago Tribune.

“The sale is expected to kick off in the coming weeks and include suitors such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.,” reports Kayla Tausche. “It is unclear whether the auction will be restricted to newspapers, or will include some of Tribune Co.’s digital properties.”

UPDATE: The Tribune has issued a statement: “There is a lot of interest in our newspapers, which we haven’t solicited. Hiring outside financial advisers will help us determine whether that interest is credible, allow us to consider all of our options and fulfill our fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders and employees.”

UPDATE 2: Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner wants Tribune’s papers. He tells the Wall Street Journal: “As we have evaluated each of their markets, market by market, we believe from our external diligence that each of their markets could potentially have enough of the elements of what we’re looking for to run our particular business model.”

* Tribune Co. has hired bankers to sell its newspapers (cnbc.com)
* “Tribune’s move comes as little surprise,” notes New York Times (nytimes.com)

Earlier on Romenesko:
* Chicago Tribune staffers react to news that Murdoch’s eyeing their paper
* Murdoch “has long eyed titles such as the Los Angeles Times”