Cox Sells Broadcast Group to Apollo Global Management

Cox Enterprises said it reached a deal to sell a majority interest in Cox Media Group’s broadcast stations and newspapers to fund managed by Apollo Global Management.

The group involves 13 TV stations that reach a combined 31 million viewers.

It also includes radio stations and newspapers in Ohio.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but published reports put the value of the deal at about $3 billion.

The new company being formed to operate these businesses will be based in Atlanta.

“These stations have decades of experience breaking barriers and delivering the news and information their communities need daily,” said Alex Taylor, president and CEO of 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.”

Cox began exploring alternatives for the station last year. Apollo intends to maintain the management and operating structure Cox Media Group’s TV business created, the companies said.

“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," said David Sambur, senior partner at Apollo. "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. 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 regulatory review. 

The TV stations involved in the deal are, WSB-TV, Atlanta; WSOC-TV, Charlotte; WHIO-TV, Dayton; WFOX-TV, Jacksonville; KOKI-TV, Tulsa; WFTV, Orlando; WAXN-TV, Charlotte; Kiro-TV, Seattle; WFXT-TV, Boston; KMYT-TV, Tulsa; WRDQ-TV, Orlando; WPXI-TV, Pittsburgh and WHBQ-TV, Memphis. Cox also has a programming and sales agreement with WJAX-TV Jacksonville. 

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.