Cox Revamps Media Group
CMG was formed late last year as an umbrella operation within parent Cox Enterprises and includes the "old media" operations of 15 TV stations and four large daily papers. (Cox Enterprises also has Cox cable operations as a $15 billion revenue source.)
Before CMG, which has $1.5 billion in revenues, Cox's media businesses were run independently. Bob Neil, president of Cox Radio, has been named to the new role of executive vice president at CMG, reporting to CMG president Sandy Schwartz. Veteran newspaper executive Doug Franklin is also becoming an executive vice president.
Cox says CMG will be moving aggressively to bolster its digital enterprises. Some are independent, while others are affiliated with its newspaper, TV and radio properties.
Gregg Lindahl -- who oversaw 82 Web sites at Cox Radio, which was taken private this spring -- has been tapped as vice president of digital for CMG.
"As the boundaries between traditional and digital media merge, it's important to have leaders in place who can think broadly across the media landscape as they guide our way forward," said Schwartz. CMG will have five regional operating units, each overseen by a vice president. Units may include combinations of newspapers, TV and radio stations.
Cox says that among the goals of CMG is pursuing back-office efficiencies -- in areas such finance, human resources and engineering -- and facilitating top talent from various outposts within the company to have more overarching roles. The company said no job cuts are expected.
Schwartz said CMG is looking to "operat(e) as a fully-integrated media company" where there is "sharing (of) expertise and best practices across all of our media properties."
CMG includes four larger daily newspapers in the Atlanta, Austin, Dayton, Ohio, and West Palm Beach, Fla., markets. It had intended to sell the Austin daily, but pulled it off the market.
CMG also includes Cox Reps, a firm in New York that sells for a run of TV stations, including the Cox portfolio. It also reps newspaper Web sites.
The 15 Cox TV stations include the Fox affiliate in San Francisco, the ABC station in Atlanta and NBC station in Pittsburgh.
In Atlanta, CMG operates the daily newspaper, an ABC affiliate and five radio stations. A similar three-platform dynamic exists in Dayton.