ATLANTA, GA — Cox Enterprises, Inc. today announced it has completed the sale of its portfolio of television and radio stations, Ohio assets and its affiliated CoxReps and Gamut national advertising businesses to a new media company that is majority owned by private equity funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE: APO). Cox Enterprises maintains a minority stake in the new company, which will include Northwest Broadcasting and will continue to operate under the name “Cox Media Group,” (“CMG” or the “Company”) with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
“We could not have asked for a better partner than Apollo in this new phase for CMG,” said Alex Taylor, president and CEO of Cox Enterprises. “Together with the people who continue to make CMG the special company that it is, they’re in a perfect position for future success.”
“We are excited for our funds to acquire a majority interest in Cox Media Group and welcome the Company into our broader Apollo portfolio,” said David Sambur, Co-Lead Partner of Private Equity at Apollo. “We look forward to working with the teams to grow the businesses, while continuing to deliver a high quality of journalistic integrity and local news within in the communities the Company serves.”
The business assets involved with the transaction include:
- Television: 13 stations in 10 markets across the country
- Radio: 54 stations across 10 markets reaching 14 million listeners monthly
- Newspapers: 3 leading newspapers in the Ohio area
- CoxReps: the country’s largest national television rep company for local broadcast television
- Gamut: offers market leading, customized and localized digital advertising and OTT solutions
- Northwest Broadcasting: 20 television stations in 10 markets
Kim Guthrie will lead the new Cox Media Group as president and CEO, overseeing all content, sales and operations for CMG businesses. “I am truly honored to lead CMG into the future, during such an exciting time for our company,” Guthrie said. “We have a unique opportunity to continue to build on the foundation of our rich history, leverage our equity in the markets we serve and redefine CMG’s place in the media landscape. We look forward to this new partnership to drive future investment, innovation and growth.”
Guthrie is joined by an executive leadership team with deep and proven experience in the media industry:
- Paul Curran, EVP, Television
- Heidi Eddy-Dorn, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, Corporate Secretary
- Brett Fennell, EVP & Chief Financial Officer
- Bill Hendrich, EVP, Radio
- Mary Ellen Marcilliat-Falkner, EVP & Chief People Officer
- Marian Pittman, EVP, Content, Product & Innovation
- Steven J. Pruett, Executive Chairman
Steven Pruett joins Cox Media Group as Executive Chairman. Most recently, Pruett served as Executive Vice President and Chief TV Development Officer at Sinclair Broadcasting Group (NASDAQ: SBGI). Through acquisitions, Steve was responsible for creating Sinclair’s Chesapeake Division and overseeing all TV stations in that group. Prior to Sinclair, he served as President and CEO of Communications Corporation of America and was special strategic advisor to DirectTV and Thomson Consumer Electronics.
About Cox Enterprises
Cox Enterprises is dedicated to building a better future through our leading communications, automotive services and media companies. Our major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications and Cox Automotive. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Cox is a global company with over $20 billion in annual revenues and brands that include Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Cox Homelife. Founded in 1898 by Ohio Governor James M. Cox, the company is a family-owned business committed to its people, communities and the planet. To learn more about Cox, visit coxenterprises.com.
About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group (CMG) is an industry-leading media company with dominant brands, award-winning content, and exceptional people. CMG provides valuable local content to viewers in the communities in which it serves. The company’s operations primarily include 33 high-quality, market-leading television stations in 20 markets, 54 radio stations in 10 markets and numerous over-the-top (OTT) and digital platforms. Cox Media Group’s portfolio includes primary affiliates of ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and MyNetworkTV, as well as several valuable independent stations. Additionally, the company also offers a full suite of local and regional advertising services with Local Solutions. For more information about Cox Media Group and its businesses, please visit www.coxmediagroup.com.
About Apollo Global Management
Apollo is a leading global alternative investment manager with offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, Bethesda, London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. Apollo had assets under management of approximately $323 billion as of September 30, 2019 in credit, private equity and real assets funds invested across a core group of nine industries where Apollo has considerable knowledge and resources. For more information about Apollo, please visit apollo.com.