Cox to sell newspapers in Texas, Florida

Austin American-Statesman building
Caption
Austin American-Statesman building

Cox Media Group announced plans Tuesday to sell its newspapers in Florida and Texas - The Palm Beach Post and Palm Beach Daily News, as well the Austin-American Statesman and related Texas community newspapers.

The company is retaining ownership of the Dayton Daily News and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. CMG also owns multiple TV and radio stations nationwide.

“After careful consideration, we have made the difficult but strategic decision to put our newspapers in Palm Beach and Austin up for sale,” said CMG President Kim Guthrie. “Our company got its start nearly 120 years ago with a single newspaper in Dayton, and we have a long history of award-winning journalism in all of our newspaper markets.”

Guthrie, who met with Post and Daily News employees Tuesday, recently announced plans to converge CMG’s newspaper, TV and radio outlets in Atlanta, mirroring an operation already in place in Dayton.

“As the media business continues to change, we must adapt our business strategy to navigate these disruptive times for the benefit of our entire media portfolio,” Guthrie said. “We have made the decision that we will be better equipped to operate our newspapers in Atlanta and Ohio, where we have the integrated opportunity with our TV and radio operations.

“We are deeply grateful to the employees in Austin and Palm Beach for the great work they have done over the years.”

Rob Rohr, Cox Media Group Ohio market vice president, said “Dayton is where Cox was founded and in 2009 it became a window into Cox Media Group’s future when we integrated all three of our media businesses into one of the world’s first fully converged media operations,”

“That move has helped us navigate the rapidly changing world of media preferences and enabled us to grow our local audience and helped our bottom line,” Rohr said.

Rohr noted that the Dayton Daily News will mark 120 years in business in 2018. “We have made that milestone because we continue to innovate and serve our customers as a fully integrated media company.”

The media landscape is changing in response to consumer behavior and technology, and this has led the FCC to consider changing rules and allowing more media companies to own newspapers and broadcast properties in any one market, Rohr said.

“The announcement to sell newspapers in Austin, Texas and West Palm Beach, where we do not have broadcast operations, is consistent with that strategy,” he said.

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