The New York Times Co. said Wednesday that it is putting The Boston Globe and its related assets up for sale four years after it called off a previous attempt to sell the newspaper.

Mark Thompson, the Times’ chief executive, said in a statement a sale would be in the best long-term interests of both properties, “given the differences between these businesses and The New York Times.”

The newspapers’ differences are stark. The Times has a national — even international — audience. Last year, it even launched a Chinese-language website. The Globe is focused on its readers in the New England region.

Thompson said the sale would help the company focus on The New York Times’ journalism and brand.

Along with the Globe, the Times plans to sell the Worcester Telegram & Gazette; the publications’ related websites; the Globe’s direct-mail marketing company, GlobeDirect; and a 49 percent interest in Metro Boston, a free daily newspaper for commuters.

The Times bought the Globe in 1993 for $1.1 billion from the family of Stephen Taylor, a former Globe executive. But the newspaper has faced difficulties in recent years as advertisers cut spending on newspapers and moved more ads online.

A round of cost cutting in 2009, which involved pay cuts, helped put the newspaper on better financial footing. It prompted the Times to call off a planned sale and rebuff the offers of several bidders. In late 2011, The Globe started charging for access to its online version at BostonGlobe.com. The move helped boost circulation revenues.