After cutting a deal in February to sell off its TV station group, Cox Enterprises has now reached an agreement to divest its entire 63-station radio group to the same buyer. An investor group led by Apollo Global Management is forming a new broadcasting company to house the stations, with Cox retaining a minority interest. The new entity will keep the Cox Media Group name and remain headquartered in Atlanta.
Cox owns 63 radio stations across 11 markets, including high performing properties in such desirable markets as Atlanta, Houston, Miami and Tampa. Cox says its radio group reaches 14 million listeners monthly.
The deal also includes the television rep firm CoxReps and the Gamut national advertising businesses, which offer customized and localized digital advertising and OTT services.
Apollo plans to keep the existing operating structure of CMG’s radio, TV, rep firm and ad businesses intact and leverage the assets to build a national media company with station properties in key markets across the country.
In a release announcing the deal, Alex Taylor, President and CEO, Cox Enterprises, said he was happy about keeping the Cox radio and TV stations together, which will keep their business synergies intact. "Keeping these media businesses together gives us even more confidence in the future success of the new company,” Taylor said. “We have spent many years fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation across these businesses and are pleased to see that work will continue."
David Sambur, Chairman of the buyer and Senior Partner of Apollo, said he was “thrilled” to acquire the radio chain, TV rep firm and Gamut and combine them with the TV stations. "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,” Sambur said.
To satisfy FCC ownership limits, the investor group plans to spin off one FM in Orlando and one in Tampa.