Digital First Media

By Bay Area News Group
Posted: 05/14/15 – 9:26 PM PDT |

Digital First Media, the company that operates the Los Angeles News Group and its digital and newspaper properties, has decided not to seek a sale of the entire company, saying it “is not in the best interest of shareholders at this time.’’

The company, in a memo to employees, also announced that company executive Steve Rossi, who is based in San Jose, will assume leadership of DFM in July. John Paton, who now is chief executive officer of Digital First Media, is retiring from DFM.

Rossi is president and chief operating officer of Digital First Media, which manages more than 800 print and online products serving 67 million readers each month. He also serves as president and CEO of the California Newspaper Partnership, which owns and manages 34 daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Daily News, the Daily Breeze (Torrance), Pasadena Star-News, and The Sun (San Bernardino), and is the largest newspaper company in California. Rossi previously held management positions with Knight Ridder, the second largest U.S. newspaper publisher at the time.

In September, DFM launched a wide-ranging review to seek strategic alternatives for the company, including a possible sale of all or parts of the firm.

“While the review process is not complete, it has been determined that a sale of the company as previously speculated is not in the best interest of shareholders at this time,” Rossi and Paton said in their memo to employees.

DFM still is holding discussions regarding selected assets, Rossi and Paton said.

“We are looking at potential acquisition opportunities,” Rossi and Paton said. “Our performance is driving our digital future and increased profitability, and our essentially debt-free structure has given us a lot of options, which we will continue to explore.”

Paton will remain CEO through June 30 and Rossi will assume leadership of the company on July 1.

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