Apollo Buying Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

ATLANTA—Apollo Global Management and Cox Enterprises have struck a deal that will see Apollo acquire a major interest in Cox Media Group’s broadcast television stations across the country. Cox Enterprises, which will retain a minority stake in the stations, will combine with Apollo to create a new company that will operate the stations and be headquartered in Atlanta.

The stations that are part of the acquisition are in most cases local news leaders in their areas, covering nine states and a combined 31 million viewers. The stations, which make up the entirety of Cox Media Group’s television portfolio, include:

  • WSB-TV, ABC (Atlanta)
  • WFTV-TV, ABC (Orlando, Fla.)
  • WRDQ-TV, Independent (Orlando)
  • WSOC-TV, ABC (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • WAXN-TV, Independent (Charlotte)
  • WPXI-TV, NBC (Pittsburgh)
  • WHIO-TV, CBS (Dayton, Ohio)
  • KIRO-TV, CBS (Seattle)
  • WHBQ-TV, Fox (Memphis, Tenn.)
  • WHBQ-TV, Fox (Memphis)
  • WFOX-TV, Fox (Jacksonville, Fla.)
  • KOKI-TV, Fox (Tulsa, Okla.)
  • KMYT-TV, My Network (Tulsa)

Cox Media Group also provides programming sales and other operation services for WJAX-TV, CBS, in Jacksonville.

The deal with Cox will also see Apollo take over Cox’s other media platforms in Ohio, which include the newspapers Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News, and radio stations WZLR (95.3 FM and 101.1 FM), WHKO (99.1 FM) and WHIO (95.7 FM and 1290 AM).

Cox has reportedly been looking for a strategic partner for its stations since this past July. With Apollo, Cox says that it will maintain its management and operating structure at the stations.

“We look forward, in collaboration with Cox Enterprises, to supporting the high standards to which each station operates and contributing to the platform’s future growth and prosperity,” said David Sambur, senior partner at Apollo, in the press release.

This transaction will be subject to customary regulatory review and closing conditions.