McGraw-Hill Cos Inc is trying to sell BusinessWeek magazine, a source told Reuters on Monday, at a time when magazine advertising sales are slumping and would-be buyers for newspapers and magazines are scarce.

McGraw hired boutique investment bank Evercore Partners Inc to manage the sale, said the source, who was familiar with the situation, but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Evercore declined to comment. A McGraw-Hill spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

BusinessWeek, founded in 1929, has around 4.8 million readers each week in 140 countries, according to the magazine's website.

The magazine has built its name on smart articles about business and finance aimed at the investment community, as well as a general audience interested in stocks, bonds and other investment vehicles.

It occupies a niche of magazines that includes titles such as Forbes and Time Inc's Fortune and Money.

These magazines, along with many other news weeklies, have been suffering a precipitous drop in ad revenue, in part because of the financial crisis and recession.

One business magazine, Conde Nast Portfolio, shut down earlier this year after its formula of blending hard-charging business news with Vanity Fair-style features failed to keep readers enthralled.

On a more fundamental level, subscriptions at many are falling and ad revenue is falling along with them, as more people turn to the Internet for free news and financial information.

The difficulty facing owners of magazines and newspapers is finding buyers for those properties. Print media deals are scarcer than ever because few people want to buy assets they think are dying.

Nevertheless, speculation among media watchers is rife that some companies will try to sell their print businesses anyway. Several analysts have said Time Warner Inc might try to sell its Time Inc division, including Time, Sports Illustrated and People magazines.

(Reporting by Jui Chakravorty and Robert MacMillan in New York; additional reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; editing by Greg Mahlich and Andre Grenon)