Joseph Pulitzer wanted to fight for Napoleon's Foreign Legion but could not because of his bad eyesight. Well, he had another vision -- which resulted in a media empire and a coveted prize for outstanding journalism. In this case, the pen proved more lucrative, if not mightier, than the sword.

But, in the world of global media conglomerates, Pulitzer (NYSE:PTZ), looks like a relic from a bygone age. Well aware of this fact, the company yesterday announced that it has retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. to explore "a range of strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including a possible sale of the company." Shareholders were obviously excited by the news, and the stock surged 17 %, closing at a new 52-week high of $64.25.

Pulitzer has a stable of newspapers, such as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, Ariz. The company has also been making inroads into the New Economy media, with such publications as STLtoday.com and azstarnet.com.

The return of advertising spending has provided a big boost for Pulitzer. In its most recent quarterly report, Pulitzer announced net income of $10.6 million, up 13% compared with $9.4 million in the same period a year ago. Operating revenues increased by 6.3% to $109.7 million.

There are a variety of well-capitalized suitors that might be interested in Pulitzer. Names include the New York Times (NYSE:NYT), Knight Ridder Inc. (NYSE:KRI), and Gannett Co. (NYSE:GCI). There is also the possibility of private equity firms entering the fray. This was the case with the recent purchase of Freedom Communications.

The Pulitzer family is still in firm command of the company, with 90% of voting control. So do not expect them to sell cheap.

Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own any shares mentioned in this article.