Times Co. negotiating to sell regional newspapers

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The New York Times Company said on Monday it was in advanced talks to sell 16 regional newspapers, another indication the company was divesting itself of assets to concentrate on its core newspaper business.

Halifax Media Holdings of Daytona Beach, Fla., is currently negotiating the purchase of the Times Company’s Regional Media Group, a division that includes newspapers across the country like The Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida; The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, Calif.; The Star-News in Wilmington, N.C.; The Gainesville Sun, also in Florida; and The Tuscaloosa News in Alabama.

Combined, the papers have a Monday-through-Friday circulation of 433,251 and 1,755 full-time employees. Analysts estimated that the sale of the regional papers would be completed later this week and priced at around $145 million. Robert H. Christie, a spokesman for the Times Company, declined to comment.

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