Newspaper publisher Digital First Media says it won't sell itself, and CEO will step down

MarketsAssociated Press

Digital First Media, one of the largest U.S. newspaper publishers, says the company won't be sold and that CEO John Paton will step down.

In a memo that was sent to employees on Thursday, Digital First Media, which owns the Denver Post and the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, said it has decided that a sale of the entire company isn't in the best interest of its shareholders. The privately-held company said in September that it was exploring strategic options, including a sale of the company or some of its operations.

Continue Reading Below

The company said Friday that the review is not complete, as it is still having talks about some of its assets and is considering possible acquisitions.

The company on Thursday said that Paton will step down June 30 so he can concentrate on IVA Ventures, a company that invests in digital media startups. Company President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Rossi will lead the company and will keep his current job titles.

Digital First Media, which also publishes the Los Angeles Daily News and the San Jose Mercury News, was formed in 2013 through the merger of MediaNews Group and the former Journal Register Co.