Tribune Co. has hired investment bankers to advise the media company on the potential sale of its newspaper publishing unit.
The company announced that it has retained JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Evercore Partners to assess whether to sell the division that includes the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and six other daily newspapers.
The bankers will analyze bids from suitors, but their hiring does not necessarily mean that the assets would be sold.
"There is a lot of interest in our newspapers, which we haven't solicited," Gary Weitman, a Tribune spokesman, said in a statement. "Hiring outside financial advisors 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."
Tribune hopes to sell the newspaper group intact instead of selling each paper individually, according to a person familiar with the matter.