Cox Enterprises To Explore Strategic Options For Television Stations

Cox Media GroupCox Enterprises has announced that it is exploring its strategic options for its 14 television stations in regards to selling, merging with another operator, or partnering with another to manage.

Cox currently owns or operates fourteen stations across ten markets. In five of those markets: Atlanta, Dayton, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tulsa it also operates a radio cluster whose management is completely intertwined with the television stations.

In the press statement Cox says it will continue to operate their radio and newspaper properties with no immediate plans to change their portfolio, however in an internal memo Cox Enterprises CEO Alex Taylor stated, “Because the TV portfolio is the largest portion of Cox Media Group’s assets, this decision may impact other parts of Cox Media Group and we will evaluate those situations as the process unfolds.”

Cox operates the following television stations plus 61 radio stations in markets including Athens GA, Houston, Long Island, Miami, San Antonio, and Tampa and the five markets listed above:

  • WSB-TV, ABC Atlanta, GA
  • WFTV-TV, ABC Orlando, FL
  • WRDQ-TV, Independent Orlando, FL
  • WSOC-TV, ABC Charlotte, NC
  • WAXN-TV, Independent Charlotte, NC
  • WPXI-TV, NBC Pittsburgh, PA
  • WHIO-TV, CBS Dayton, OH
  • KIRO-TV, CBS Seattle, WA
  • WJAX, CBS Jacksonville, FL*
  • WFOX-TV, FOX Jacksonville, FL
  • WFXT-TV, FOX Boston, MA
  • WHBQ-TV FOX, Memphis, TN
  • KOKI-TV, FOX Tulsa, OK
  • KMYT-TV, My Network Tulsa OK

Cox Enterprises, Inc. announced today that it is exploring strategic options for its ownership or other interest in 14 broadcast television stations, including partnering or merging these stations into a larger TV company.

“We didn’t take this decision lightly. It is clear that scale is critical for TV affiliates to be positioned well for the future. Our stations are some of the best in the industry and we want them to stay that way,” said Alex Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Cox Enterprises.

The 14 stations in nine states are part of Cox Media Group, Cox Enterprises’ integrated broadcasting, publishing and digital media company, and reach more than 31 million viewers in their markets. These stations have been established as leading news and information outlets and are cornerstones of the communities they serve. This in turn has driven strong financial performance, making the stations attractive assets in today’s marketplace.

Cox Enterprises has no immediate plans for the other parts of the portfolio and will continue to operate our radio properties, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and their affiliated publications and websites, as well as its other businesses Cox Reps, Gamut, Videa and Ideabar.

The company is investing in strategic priorities to foster growth within its existing businesses. In addition, Cox Enterprises is investing in new growth areas, including Cleantech and healthcare.

“Cox’s television stations are and will always be an important part of our company’s history, and we greatly value the contributions of these stations to the success of our company and to the communities where we do business,” said Jim Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises. “We are deeply appreciative of the employees at these stations and their dedication to delivering quality, consistent and trustworthy journalism.”

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  1. Eric Jon Magnuson says

    And, this comes not long after the company finished spinning off its last standalone newspapers (in Austin and West Palm Beach), to GateHouse.

  2. Nathan Obral says

    You know the economy of scale in television ownership is in bad straits when a mid-sized – and stable – group like Cox is exploring the possibility of getting out.

  3. Mediaman says

    Hopefully they will keep the stations where they also have radio or spin off some non Southern markets and add radio like in Charlotte. TV and radio have a lot of synergy and gives them a unique selling advantage.

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