Cox Media Group Purchases New TV Stations in Jacksonville, Tulsa; Realigns Its Broadcast Media Portfolio

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ATLANTA – July 20, 2012 Cox Media Group (CMG) is realigning its broadcast portfolio to focus on larger markets, cross-media collaboration, and heightened impact in fewer markets. 

As part of this realignment, CMG will be adding four new TV stations in two markets – Jacksonville, Fla. and Tulsa, Okla. – to its broadcast group from Newport Television.  Following receipt of regulatory approvals, the company will take ownership of three of the new stations and will provide operating services to the fourth.  The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter.  The new stations will provide opportunities for collaboration with CMG’s other businesses in those markets. The new stations include:

  • WAWS-TV (Fox) and WTEV-TV (CBS) in Jacksonville
  • KOKI-TV (Fox) and KMYT-TV (MyNetwork) in Tulsa 

As part of its strategy and after careful consideration, CMG will be selling its radio locations in Birmingham, Ala.; Greenville, S.C.; Hawaii; Louisville, Ky.; Richmond, Va.; and Southern Connecticut, as well as television stations in four markets   ̶   El Paso, Texas; Johnstown, Pa.; Reno, Nev.; and Steubenville, Ohio.     

“This simplified structure will enable CMG to capitalize on continued growth and synergies, while retaining its size financially,” said CMG President Doug Franklin. “All of our media outlets, regardless of size, are valuable, profitable brands with strong futures thanks to the hard work and dedication of our talented professionals who serve their audiences, advertisers and communities.  We thank the leaders and employees in the locations we’re selling for their outstanding contributions to this company over the years and the valuable service they will continue to provide their respective communities.”   

Leadership Realignment to Fit New Media Portfolio

Simultaneously, CMG is realigning its leadership structure to fit its new portfolio. This new structure will provide even more focus on the specific media platforms (newspaper, radio, TV), while continuing to drive collaboration and growth.

As a result, former Group VP Kim Guthrie is CMG’s new Senior Vice President responsible for radio markets, and former Austin American-Statesman Publisher Jane Williams is the company’s new Senior Vice President responsible for TV markets, both reporting to Bill Hoffman, EVP over broadcast.  Additional leadership changes effective immediately include:

  • Former Group VP Rich Reis is now VP and GM of Digital Operations reporting to EVP Neil Johnston.
  • Former Group VP Ben Reed is now VP and Market Manager of Atlanta radio reporting to Kim Guthrie.  Ben succeeds Dan Kearney, who is now VP and Market Manager of Miami radio. Kearney succeeds Jerry Rushin, who is retiring from the company later this month. 
  • Former Group VP Jay O’Connor, as previously announced, is the new VP and GM at KIRO TV in Seattle.

Additionally, EVP Mike Joseph continues to oversee CMG’s newspaper operations and CMG Ohio. The company will announce the new publisher of the Austin American-Statesman in the near future. 

“Our new business realignment enables us to simplify our structure and continue our strategic initiatives of driving cash flow, extending our strong local brands into digital, and continuing the development of our talented people,” said Franklin. “We will also continue to bolster our core portfolio with new, high-growth initiatives that focus on emerging advertising and scalable content.”  

Cox’s media properties for sale include:

  • Birmingham (WAGG-AM, WBHJ-FM, WBHK-FM, WENN-AM, WZZK-FM, WZNN-FM, WBPT-FM, and CMG’s contract rights for WALJ-FM)
  • Greenville (WJMZ-FM/HD3, WHZT-FM)
  • Hawaii (KRTR-AM/FM, KPHW-FM, KCCN-FM, KINE-FM, KKNE-AM)
  • Louisville (WRKA-FM, WVEZ-FM, WSFR-FM, WQNU-FM)
  • Richmond (WHTI-FM, WKHK-FM, WKLR-FM, WURV-FM)
  • Southern Connecticut ((WPLR-FM, WEZN-FM, WFOX-FM, and CMG’s contract rights for WYBC-FM)
  • El Paso (KFOX-TV) (Fox affiliate)
  • Johnstown (WJAC-TV) (NBC affiliate)
  • Reno (KRXI-TV and CMG’s option and other contract rights for KAME-TV) (Fox affiliate)
  • Steubenville (WTOV-TV) (NBC affiliate)

CMG has retained Citi as advisor for the transactions and Dow Lohnes as transaction and regulatory counsel. Interested parties should contact:

About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group  is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company that includes the national advertising rep firms of Cox Reps.
Additionally, CMG owns and operates Valpak, one of North America’s leading direct marketing companies.   With $1.7 billion in revenue, the company operations include 15 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, 86 radio stations, eight daily newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services.   CMG operates in more than 30 media markets and reaches approximately 52 million Americans weekly, including 30 million TV viewers, more than 4 million print and online newspaper readers, and 18 million radio listeners.  For more information about Cox Media Group, please check us out online at www.coxmediagroup.com