Guradian Media Group has confirmed that it has held "exploratory talks" about selling theManchester Evening News and its other regional newspapers.
The Scott Trust, the owner of GMG, is obliged by its constitution to safeguard the future of the Guardian "in perpetuity", but not the company's regional newspapers or the Observer.
GMG Regional Media reported a fall in operating profit to £500,000, compared with £14.3m in the year to 29 March 2008.
Earlier this year MEN Media closed all the editorial offices of its 22 weekly newspapers and cut up to 150 jobs across these titles and the Manchester Evening News, including 70 editorial roles, in a move to cut costs. Up to 41 out of 74 full-staff at Channel M were also made redundant. Surrey & Berkshire Media cut up to 95 jobs in a round of cost cutting.