Grand Junction newspaper to be sold
August 13, 2008
NEW YORK ” Cox Enterprises Inc. plans to sell its newspapers in Austin, Texas, Grand Junction, Colo., and other cities, reducing the company’s portfolio of advertising-supported media properties.
Cox, a privately held company based in Atlanta, said Wednesday it will use proceeds from the sales to pay down debt.
The company intends to sell the Grand Junction, Colo., Daily Sentinel and the Nickel, a Grand Junction weekly; the Austin American-Statesman and five other community papers in Texas, including the Waco Tribune-Herald; and three papers in North Carolina, including the Rocky Mount Telegram.
The company will also sell its Valpak direct coupon mailing business. It did not say how much it expects to fetch for the properties.
After the sales, Cox Newspapers will still operate The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the nation’s 20th largest paper by circulation, along with The Palm Beach Post in Florida and the Dayton Daily News in Ohio.
“This decision was made as part of an ongoing strategic review of our portfolio and enables us to maintain our strong and stable financial performance by further paying down debt,” Chief Executive Jim Kennedy said in a statement.
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Cox said it now generates about 80 percent of its $15 billion in annual revenues from sources outside advertising-supported media businesses such as newspaper, television and radio.
Those businesses have seen sharp declines in advertising revenue in recent years as advertisers shift spending online, where consumers are increasingly getting their information.
Cox also owns a cable TV company called Cox Communications Inc., an auto auction and services company called Manheim Inc. and Cox Auto Trader, which runs auto publications and has a majority stake in AutoTrader.com.