ATLANTA - Cox Enterprises Inc. announced Wednesday the company is bringing together its three media units — Cox Newspapers, Cox Television and Cox Radio — under a new organization called Cox Media Group Inc.
The new group will become effective January 2009. It will be headquartered in Atlanta and led by Cox veteran Sandy Schwartz, president.
The businesses comprising Cox Media Group will include 17 daily and 26 non-daily newspaper publications, 15 television broadcast stations, 86 radio stations and more than 100 digital services associated with these businesses and Valpak.
Officials said in a written statement that Cox's planned sale of its Valpak direct coupon mailing business and newspaper assets in Texas, North Carolina and Colorado will continue during the reorganization.
In August, Cox Enterprises announced plans to sell the properties and said it would use proceeds from the sales to pay down debt.
Doug Franklin, publisher of The Palm Beach Post in Florida, will leave the paper to assume the title of executive vice president, Cox Newspapers, reporting to Schwartz.
The company said Franklin will be replaced at the Post by Alex Taylor, publisher of The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, Colo., also a Cox newspaper.
As previously announced, Bruce Baker will lead the television station group.
Robert F. Neil will continue as president and chief executive officer of Cox Radio Inc.
Following the formation of Cox Media Group, Cox Radio will continue to trade publicly on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CXR, the company said.
Cox, a privately held company based in Atlanta, currently owns newspapers in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. The company has said it generates about 80 percent of its $15 billion in annual revenues from sources outside advertising-supported media businesses such as newspaper, television and radio.
Its other major subsidiaries are Cox Communications Inc., with businesses that include cable television distribution, telephone, high-speed Internet access, commercial telecommunications, advertising and the Travel Channel; Manheim Inc., which deals in vehicle auctions, repair and certification services and web-based technology products, and Cox Auto Trader, which owns automotive publications and a majority stake in AutoTrader.com.