Cox Media Restructuring Merges Newspaper and Broadcast

Article excerpt

In the latest example of a media company restructuring its business operations to operate in a world where consumers and advertisers enjoy ever-expanding options for their time and money, Cox Media Group announced Wednesday that it was putting its newspaper, radio and television businesses under one operational group.

Cox Media elevated a newspaper veteran and a radio veteran to oversee its extensive portfolio newspaper, broadcast and digital properties.

The company pointedly noted that its new business model breaks from its longtime grouping of business according to medium. Another statement from its announcement tacitly acknowledged that the media operating environment changes so rapidly that even this latest restructuring is by no means complete: "The new business model will continue to evolve over the next several months as the reporting structures go into effect."

"This new concept is another step toward fulfilling Cox Media Group's vision of operating as a fully integrated media company," Cox Media President Sandy Schwartz said in a statement. "Sharing expertise and best practices across all of our media properties allows us to better serve consumers and advertisers in our changing environment. In addition, each of Cox's media properties will benefit from expanded shared services such as research, sales, digital, finance, human resources and engineering."

Cox Media is a $1.5 billion business that publishes four metro dailies; a dozen community papers; 15 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel; and 86 radio stations.

Last December, Cox Media -- a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises -- combined its media businesses into one organization. More recently, it consolidated its national advertising firms into Cox Reps and took Cox Radio private.

Cox Media's move is similar to the efforts of Media General Inc., the Richmond, Va.-based parent of The Tampa Tribune, which has converged its newspaper, broadcast and digital properties. Media General recently announced that it would even report operating results by marketing rather than by newspaper, broadcasting and Web divisions. …