Apollo/Cox Media Group Deal Is Formally Done


Cox Enterprises on Tuesday officially completed the sale of its portfolio of television and radio stations; Dayton, Ohio multimedia assets; and its affiliated CoxReps and Gamut national advertising businesses to a new media company with a familiar name: Cox Media Group.

It’s a reborn CMG, as it is now an entity majority-owned by private equity funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management.

Cox Enterprises will maintain a minority stake in the new company, which will include the television stations formerly held by Brian Brady-led Northwest Broadcasting.

The new Cox Media Group will be headquartered in Atlanta.

“We could not have asked for a better partner than Apollo in this new phase for CMG,” said Alex Taylor, president and CEO of Cox Enterprises. “Together with the people who continue to make CMG the special company that it is, they’re in a perfect position for future success.”

David Sambur, Co-Lead Partner of Private Equity at Apollo, added, “We are excited for our funds to acquire a majority interest in Cox Media Group and welcome the Company into our broader Apollo portfolio. We look forward to working with the teams to grow the businesses, while continuing to deliver a high quality of journalistic integrity and local news within in the communities the Company serves.”

The business assets involved with the transaction include:

  • Television: 13 stations in 10 markets across the country
  • Radio: 54 stations across 10 markets reaching 14 million listeners monthly
  • Newspapers: Three newspapers in the Dayton, Ohio area, including the Dayton Daily News
  • CoxReps: the country’s largest national television rep company for local broadcast television
  • Gamut: offers market leading, customized and localized digital advertising and OTT solutions
  • Northwest Broadcasting: 20 television stations in 10 markets

As previously reported by RBR+TVBR, Kim Guthrie will lead the new Cox Media Group as President/CEO, overseeing all content, sales and operations.

“I am truly honored to lead CMG into the future, during such an exciting time for our company,” Guthrie said. “We have a unique opportunity to continue to build on the foundation of our rich history, leverage our equity in the markets we serve and redefine CMG’s place in the media landscape.  We look forward to this new partnership to drive future investment, innovation and growth.”

Guthrie is joined by the following executive leadership team:

  • Paul Curran, EVP, Television
  • Heidi Eddy-Dorn, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, Corporate Secretary
  • Brett Fennell, EVP & Chief Financial Officer
  • Bill Hendrich, EVP, Radio
  • Mary Ellen Marcilliat-Falkner, EVP & Chief People Officer
  • Marian Pittman, EVP, Content, Product & Innovation
  • Steven J. Pruett, Executive Chairman

Until now, Pruett served as EVP/Chief TV Development Officer at Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Through acquisitions, Steve was responsible for creating Sinclair’s Chesapeake Division and overseeing all TV stations in that group. Prior to Sinclair, he served as President/CEO of Communications Corporation of America and was special strategic advisor to DirectTV and Thomson Consumer Electronics.