Given the tough times facing the newspaper industry – rising costs and rapidly declining revenues, particularly from classified advertising – it will be interesting to see how much interest remains in acquiring a major daily. Copley Press announced that it has retained the Evercore Partners investment bankers to look into selling its remaining newspapers, including the San Diego Union-Tribune. The newspaper has the 21st largest circulation of US daily newspapers, with daily circulation of more than 300K and more than 350K for the Sunday edition.
In announcing the decision to explore selling the San Diego paper, Copley Exec. VP Harold Fuson Jr. said, “We have every reason to believe the business will rebound with the economy, but the uncertainties pose too great a risk to sit still.” According to the report in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Gene Bell, President and CEO of the Union-Tribune Publishing Company, sent employees a statement declaring “Newspapers are not dying.”
Privately owned Copley sold off its other assets over the years, including KCOP-TV Los Angeles, and currently owns only the San Diego paper, Today’s Local News, a free newspaper serving the area north of San Diego, and the weekly Spanish-language Enlace.