Sunday, August 17, 2008

When Newspapers Are up for Sale

Several Major NC Newspapers Up For Sale

By The Raleigh Telegram Staff

GREENVILLE, NC - Cox Newspapers announced on Wednesday that it is putting several of its large daily newspapers in North Carolina up for sale including the Greenville Reflector, Rocky Mount Telegram, and The Elizabeth City Daily Advance. Cox also said that ten other non-daily community newspapers across the state will be sold.

The announcement came on the Greenville Reflector's website on Wednesday at

"Throughout this sale process, we will continue to operate our eastern North Carolina newspapers, web sites, direct-mail marketing and commercial printing businesses as we always have, focused on providing our audiences, advertisers and other customers with the high quality news, information and other services they have come to expect," Jordan Whichard III, publisher of The Daily Reflector and group publisher and CEO of Cox North Carolina Publications, said in a statement. Cox bought the Greenville Reflector from the Whichard family twelve years ago and the daily is one of the largest in eastern North Carolina.

Non-daily newspapers included the sell-off include the Beaufort-Hyde News (Belhaven, NC), the Bertie Ledger-Advance (Windsor, NC), Farmville Enterprise (Farmville, NC), Perquimans Weekly (Elizabeth City, NC), Standard Laconic (Snow Hill, NC), The Chowan Herald (Edenton, NC), The Duplin Times (Kenansville, NC), The Enterprise (Williamston, NC), Times-Leader (Ayden-Grifton, NC), and Weekly Herald (Robersonville, NC).

According to the Reflector newspaper article, the Greenville-based commercial printing facility, Savings Source Direct of Tarboro and other free publications such as "Mixer" that are printed by the paper also are included in the sale."

This decision was made as part of an ongoing strategic review of our portfolio and enables us to maintain our strong and stable financial performance by further paying down debt," said Jim Kennedy, CEO of Cox Enterprises in a statement. Cox explained that over 80 percent of its revenue comes from sources other than traditional advertising-supported media companies such as newspapers, television and radio.

Cox said that they are also selling much of their newspaper portfolio outside of North Carolina including the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman and six daily newspapers in Colorado and Texas. Cox also intends to sell Valpak, the nation’s leader in cooperative direct mail advertising, said the Reflector article.

Cox said it will still own The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Palm Beach Post, Dayton Daily News and their affiliated publications. Cox said it will focus on Cox Communications Inc. and other investments in technology. The company said it hopes to start the sales process and sharing information with prospective buyers as early as September.

The news of the sell-off comes as another major daily newspaper, The News & Record of Greensboro, North Carolina is also up for sale. Landmark Communications of Norfolk, Virginia, which owned the Weather Channel before it was sold to NBC earlier this year, announced that it would be selling the Guilford County newspaper as well.

Marketing Tip: Stay in touch with your local reporters. They need your emotional support - and you want to know who will be taking over your beat.

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