Cox Media Group said Tuesday that it has put a for-sale sign on the Palm Beach Daily News, the Palm Beach Post, and the Austin-American Statesman..
The Atlanta-based company expects to find a buyer in six to 12 months for the island’s 120-year-old Daily News and its sister paper The Palm Beach Post , said Cox Media Group President Kim Guthrie.
Cox Media Group also aims to sell the Austin-American Statesman and its Texas community newspapers. The privately held company will keep the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the Dayton Daily News, and its TV and radio stations nationwide.
“After careful consideration, we have made the difficult but strategic decision to put our newspapers in Palm Beach and Austin up for sale,” Guthrie said in a statement. “Our company got its start nearly 120 years ago with a single newspaper in Dayton, and we have a long history of award-winning journalism in all of our newspaper markets.”
It’s unclear who might bid on the Daily News and Post. Gannett Co. (NYSE: GCI) of McLean, Va., has been an aggressive buyer of newspapers in recent years. Long the owner of Florida Today and the Fort Myers News-Press, Gannett bought the Treasure Coast Newspapers and the Naples Daily News in separate deals in 2016.
Cox Q&A for Employees:
5 Quick Thoughts on Cox Putting its Austin and Palm Beach Papers Up for Sale
Cox Media Group's decision, announced today, to halve its newspaper holdings by selling properties in Austin and Palm Beach fits with a number of trends in a busy year of newspaper properties changing hands.
WHY SELL? A dispersed group of four newspapers and their digital sites doesn't yield much benefit of scale — either in shared services to help control expenses or in audience reach to interest advertisers.
As the expense of keeping current in content management systems and other technology continues to grow and developing new revenue streams requires start-up investment, being relatively small carries significant disadvantages. Doubly so in an unforgiving financial climate as sharp print advertising losses show no sign of steadying out.