The New York Times is in discussions to sell its 16 regional newspapers, including three publications in North Carolina -- The Wilmington Star-News, the Hendersonville Times-News and the Lexington Dispatch.
The company confirmed the talks with Halifax Media Holdings in a release.
The Times has made a number of cost-cutting moves in recent years, including selling its headquarters building and its ownership stake in the Boston Red Sox.
The Times, along with the entire newspaper industry, has been pummeled in recent years by a dramatic downturn in advertising spending and the ongoing shift to online.
The Times recently instituted a pay wall on its website whereby readers can read a certain number of stories for free each month before they are asked to subsribe.
Smaller regional newspapers have been hit particularly hard by the decline in classified ads.