Times Mirror to Explore Sale of College and Science Units

From a Times Staff Writer

Times Mirror Co. said Tuesday that it will explore a possible sale, joint ventures or other "strategic alternatives" for its Higher Education Group college publishing operations and its CRC Press scientific and technical information publisher.

Los Angeles-based Times Mirror, a news and information company that publishes the Los Angeles Times, may make a decision regarding these operations as early as midsummer, a company spokeswoman said.

Mark H. Willes, Times Mirror chairman and chief executive, said these operations do not fit into the company's strategy of concentrating its resources in businesses where it can be a clear industry leader. Times Mirror now ranks fifth in college publishing.

"Unfortunately, despite the outstanding achievements of our college publishing operations, industry trends in higher education--including slower growth, technological change and accelerating consolidation--have led us to conclude that we do not have a clear path to market leadership in the foreseeable future," Willes said in a statement. "Therefore, we will focus our resources in other professional information areas where we already enjoy leading market positions."

The Higher Education Group consists of business and economics publisher Richard D. Irwin and IPRO, its business professional publishing unit; life and physical science publisher Wm. C. Brown Publishers; social science and humanities publisher Brown & Benchmark Publishers; and related college publishing activities in other Times Mirror professional publishing companies. CRC Press publishes scientific and technical information.

About 2,000 people are employed at these and other Times Mirror college-related operations.

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