Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio.
Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes ABC affiliates WSB-TV Atlanta and WFTV-TV Orlando, Fla., were put on the block last July.
Apollo will form a new entity to operate the stations. Privately held Cox Enterprises will retain a minority stake in the assets.
“We are extremely excited for our funds to acquire a majority interest in Cox Media Group’s broadcast television stations and are humbled by Cox Enterprises’ decision to entrust us to steward these stations and carry on the Cox legacy,” said David Sambur, senior partner at Apollo. “We have an extraordinary amount of respect and admiration for the journalistic integrity, news quality, and commitment to community across Cox Media Group’s broadcast stations.”
Financial terms of the deal, which is subject to regulatory review at the FCC, were not disclosed. The newspapers included in the transaction are Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News.
“These stations have decades of experience breaking barriers and delivering the news and information their communities need daily,” said Alex Taylor, president and CEO of Cox Enterprises. “We wanted to find a company that is committed to investing in broadcast television now and in the future, and we found that in Apollo.”