Cox Enterprises Inc. announced today that it is exploring strategic options for its ownership or other interest in 14 TV stations, including WHIO-TV, Channel 7.
Those strategic options include the possibility of partnering or merging these stations with other larger TV companies, according to a company press release.
“We didn’t take this decision lightly,” said Alex Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Cox Enterprises. “It is clear that scale is critical for TV affiliates to be positioned well for the future. Our stations are some of the best in the industry, and we want them to stay that way.”
WHIO-TV is the No. 1 station in the Dayton market, with more than 70 percent of the local news share, and the No. 1 CBS affiliate in the country.
According to the press release, Cox Enterprises has no immediate plans for other parts of its portfolio, including the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News; its Dayton radio stations, WHKO, WHIO and WZLR; and their affiliated publications and websites. Cox will also continue to operate its other radio properties across the country and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as well as its other businesses, Cox Reps, Gamut, Videa and Ideabar.
The company is investing in strategic priorities to foster growth within its existing businesses, the press release said. In addition, Cox Enterprises is investing in new growth areas, including Cleantech and healthcare.
“Cox’s television stations are and will always be an important part of our company’s history, and we greatly value the contributions of these stations to the success of our company and to the communities where we do business,” said Jim Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises. “We are deeply appreciative of the employees at these stations and their dedication to delivering quality, consistent and trustworthy journalism.”
Cox Media Group is Cox Enterprises’ integrated broadcasting, publishing and digital media company, and has ownership or other interest in 14 stations in nine states. Combined, they reach more than 31 million viewers and are the leading news and information outlets in their communities. According to the Cox press release, the stations are cornerstones of the communities they serve and have strong financial performance, making them attractive assets in today’s marketplace.
Cox Enterprises is a communications, media and automotive services company with revenues of more than $20 billion and approximately 60,000 employees. The company got its start in Dayton, Ohio, when the company’s founder, James M. Cox, started the Dayton Daily News.