Daily News of Los Angeles to Be Sold, Owner Announces

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The owner of the Daily News of Los Angeles said Monday that it has hired an investment bank to find a buyer for the newspaper.

The Daily News is owned by multimillionaire Jack Kent Cooke, who paid $176 million in December, 1985, to buy the Woodland Hills-based newspaper from Tribune Co. in Chicago. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, the Daily News had a daily circulation of 211,252 for the six months ended March 31.

The paper is part of Cooke's private business empire, which includes the Washington Redskins, the Chrysler Building in New York, cable TV holdings and a horse-breeding farm in Kentucky.

Jack Kent Cooke Inc., which owns the newspaper, said in a statement that Lazard Freres & Co. of New York has been retained to "explore interest already received and contact other potential" buyers.

Cooke and other company officials could not be reached for comment.

Since earlier this year, union officials at the Daily News had heard rumors that the paper might be for sale, and they said they were only mildly surprised when Bob Burdick, the paper's editor, gave the news to workers late Monday.

Jim Tranquada, who chairs the Newspaper Guild unit that represents about 165 editorial employees at the Daily News, said the newsroom was full of speculation. The guild's contract with management expired in February, and union workers have been working under an extended contract. Cooke, who lives in Middleburg, Va., has a net worth of $800 million, according to Forbes magazine.

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