- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Newspaper company Digital First Media said Friday that it is exploring strategic options, which could include a sale of the company or parts of it.

The privately held company is the nation’s second biggest U.S. newspaper publisher by circulation. Its publications include the Los Angeles Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News, the Denver Post and the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press. Digital First Media serves 75 million customers monthly.

The announcement comes as readers continue moving to online sources to get their news and advertisers shift more of their spending to mobile and Web-based ads. The trends have meant that companies with newspaper properties are searching for ways to boost the value of their businesses.

Some are opting to spin off or sell their print operations while retaining broadcast and digital properties. In August, Gannett Co. - owner of USA Today - announced it would make such a move. Time Warner Inc. and News Corp have made similar maneuvers.

“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,” Digital First Media CEO John Paton said in a statement.

Digital First Media was created in December through the merger of MediaNews Group and the former Journal Register Co. The company has 76 daily and Sunday newspapers, and 160 weekly publications.

The company said there is no schedule set for the completion of its review.

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