Apollo to buy majority stake in Cox TV stations
Cox Enterprises Inc. has reached an agreement with funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC to buy a majority interest in Cox Media Group's broadcast television stations, including the company's radio, newspaper and TV properties in Ohio. Cox Enterprises will maintain a minority stake and will join the Apollo Funds in forming a new company to operate these stations, which will be headquartered in Atlanta, Ga.
Cox Media Group's TV stations reach a combined 31 million viewers nationwide.
The stations, which represent Cox Media Group's entire television portfolio, are:
- WSB-TV, ABC Atlanta, Ga.
- WFOX-TV, FOX Jacksonville, Fla,
- WFTV-TV, ABC Orlando, Fla.
- WRDQ-TV, Independent Orlando, Fla.
- WFXT-TV, FOX Boston, Mass.
- WSOC-TV, ABC Charlotte, N.C.
- WAXN-TV, Independent Charlotte, N.C.
- WHIO-TV, CBS Dayton, Ohio
- KMYT-TV, My Network Tulsa Okla.
- KOKI-TV, FOX Tulsa, Okla.
- WPXI-TV, NBC Pittsburgh, Pa.
- WHBQ-TV FOX, Memphis, Tenn.
- KIRO-TV, CBS Seattle, Wash.
Cox Media Group also provides programming, sales and other operations services for WJAX-TV, CBS Jacksonville, Fla.
In addition to WHIO-TV, the Apollo Funds will acquire a majority stake in Cox Media Group's other media platforms in Ohio:
- Dayton Daily News
- Springfield News-Sun
- WZLR, 95.3 FM and 101.1 FM
- WHKO, 99.1 FM
- WHIO, 95.7 FM and 1290 AM
Cox Enterprises began exploring strategic alternatives for the stations last July with the goal of finding a motivated strategic partner with a shared vision for the future and the resources to continue investing in the business to build scale. Apollo intends to maintain the successful management and operating structure Cox Media Group's TV business has created.
"These stations have decades of experience breaking barriers and delivering the news and information their communities need daily," said Alex Taylor, president and CEO, Cox Enterprises. "We wanted to find a company that is committed to investing in broadcast television now and in the future, and we found that in Apollo."
"We are extremely excited for our funds to acquire a majority interest in Cox Media Group's broadcast television stations and are humbled by Cox Enterprises' decision to entrust us to steward these stations and carry on the Cox legacy. We have an extraordinary amount of respect and admiration for the journalistic integrity, news quality, and commitment to community across Cox Media Group's broadcast stations," said David Sambur, senior partner at Apollo. "We look forward, in collaboration with Cox Enterprises, to supporting the high standards to which each station operates and contributing to the platform's future growth and prosperity."
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory review and closing conditions.