Cox Enterprises isn’t leaving the radio business completely, just yet … but …
The Atlanta-based multimedia conglomerate has announced that it is essentially selling its radio station portfolio, along with the CoxReps and Gamut advertising businesses to Apollo Global Management. According to a release, Cox Enterprises will maintain a minority stake in the Apollo-controlled company that will take over the properties. This new formation will be called, perhaps confusingly at first, Cox Media Group.
At stake is over 60 radio stations in 11 markets, including legacy station WSB(AM) in Atlanta, started by Cox property, the Atlanta Journal, in 1922. CoxReps is a leading national advertising rep firm.
The acquiring entity, also known as Terrier Media, is the same Apollo Global Management operation formed to hold Cox’s TV stations and Ohio radio stations and newspapers, sold (pending regulatory approval) in February.
In a release Cox Enterprises President and CEO Alex Taylor said “We are happy our Cox Radio and national ad platforms will continue to be operated with our television group.” He added, “Keeping these media businesses together gives us even more confidence in the future success of the new company. We have spent many years fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation across these businesses and are pleased to see that work will continue.”
From the Apollo perch, David Sambur, Chairman of the buyer and Senior Partner of Apollo Global Management said, “Cox has deep roots in the media industry and has stood for the highest quality in local journalism for the past 120 years. As we shepherd these businesses into the future, we are committed to investing in high-quality programming and fostering innovation in local media.”
The transaction is subject to approval from regulatory authorities. Furthermore, to complete the deal two radio stations will have to be divested, WPYO(FM) in Orlando, Fla., and WSUN(FM) in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.