The New York Times Co is nearing a sale of 16 regional newspapers spread across the U.S. Southeast and California to Halifax Media Holdings, according to media reports on Monday.

The Times Co confirmed it was in talks to sell the newspapers after reports surfaced in the media, including The journalism website displayed a screenshot of the Halifax Media Group's corporate website that pre-emptively showed it as the owner of the Times Co's regional papers.

Halifax Media Group's page was later taken down and the company could not be reached for comment.

The papers included in the Times Co's regional media group are largely scattered across the U.S. Southeast and California. Among them are the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Ledger, Star-Banner, The Gainesville Sun and News Chief in Florida; Herald-Journal in South Carolina; and The Press Democrat in California.

The total weekday circulation for the group is about 430,000.

The Boston Globe, which the Times Co had previously considered selling, is not among the papers that make up the regional media group.

Shares of the New York Times - which just last week announced the abrupt retirement of its chief executive - were down 19 cents, or 2.6 percent, at $7.17 early Monday afternoon.

(Reporting By Paul Thomasch)