Cox Media Group To Sell Its Daily Newspapers In Texas And Florida – Forbes

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Cox Media Group this morning announced plans to sell the Austin American-Statesman and related community newspapers in Texas. The company also will sell its daily newspapers in Florida, The Palm Beach Post and The Palm Beach Daily News.

Kim Guthrie, president of Cox Media, said in a statement that the company’s “strategic business focus is changing.”

The company made the decision that it will focus on its newspapers in Atlanta and Ohio, where “we have the integrated opportunity with our TV and radio operations,” Guthrie said.

Cox Media currently owns seven daily papers: the three it seeks to sell, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and four dailies in the Dayton, Ohio, market. It owns WSB-TV in Atlanta and WHIO TV in Dayton. Cox owns a number of radio stations in the Atlanta market.

The company is currently based in Atlanta. But it started in Dayton nearly 120 years ago, Guthrie noted, with the publication of a single paper there.

The Austin paper, known locally as the Statesman, reported that Statesman publisher Susie Gray told employees in a memo that the sale is not a reflection on the paper or its people. She added, “As the media business continues to change, it is crucial that CMG adapt its business strategy to navigate these disruptive times in ways that benefit the entire media portfolio.”

Guthrie first made the announcement in Palm Beach this morning, then flew to Texas to meet with Statesman employees in the afternoon.

Cox Enterprises, the parent of Cox Media, tried to sell the Statesman once before – in August 2008, just before the Great Recession hit. The paper failed to move, and Cox took it off the market the following summer.

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