The Los Angeles Times may launch a free, tabloid-sized daily newspaper, Times Publisher David Hiller said on Thursday.

Hiller, speaking at a luncheon in Los Angeles, said the new paper would be similar to Redeye, a paper published and distributed for free at commuter stations by the Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune and the Times are both owned by Tribune Co, which is going private in an $8.2 billion deal led by Chicago real estate tycoon Sam Zell.

Several publishers, including The Washington Post, offer smaller, free daily papers in a bid to lure younger readers and build up their advertising sales at a time when their flagship publications are suffering a loss of paid circulation and ad dollars.

Hiller said Redeye has added 600,000 readers in an average day to the Tribune's audience, many of them in the 18-to-34-year-old age group, which advertisers covet.

Tribune also publishes a free tabloid-sized daily paper in New York City called am New York. The company also publishes Newsday on New York's Long Island.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles and Robert MacMillan in New York)