10. Cox Enterprises Inc.
Revenues 2013: $ 15.900 billion (€ 11.972 billion)
Sporting 14,7 billion US-Dollars in revenues and approximately 66.000 employees in 2009, Cox Enterprises Inc. Is the tenth-largest media company in the USA. Its main headquarters are located in Atlanta (Georgia). The company is almost completely owned by the Cox and Kennedy family respectively. Its core business is subdivided into three core areas: According to its own statement, Cox Communications is the third-largest provider of cable television in the USA and also markets digital video, telephone and Internet services. The Cox Media Group focusses on the media segment. It runs 15 television stations, a cable channel, more than 80 radio stations and eight newspapers (amongst other things). The third business division encompasses the automotive trade and business communications.
Manheim offers marketing and wholesale services for automotive business and sold more than five billion cars in 2009. AutoTrader.com offers an online marketplace and an information platform, listing more than 2,8 million second-hand new vehicles.
6205 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA, 30328
Branches: Cable networks, TV stations, radio, newspapers, printing, telecommunications, advertising, online properties
Legal form: Private Company
Financial year: 01/01 - 12/31
Founding year: 1898
Revenues ($ bn.)
Cox Media 1,8* 0,63
Cox Media 1,8* 0,70
Cox Media 1,7 1,0
Cox Media 1,8 1,2
Cox Meida 1,7 1,4
*since 2009 the segments 'Newspapers', 'Television' and 'Radio' are subsumed in the segment 'Cox Media'. Sources: Cox Annual Reports.
- James C. Kennedy, Chairman
- John M. Dyer, President and Chief Executie Officer
- Douglas E. Franklin, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
- Marybeth N. Leamer, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Administration
- Alexander C. Taylor, Executive Vice President
- Patrick J. Esser, President, Cox Communications
- Sanford Schwartz, President, Manheim & AutoTrader Group
- Bill Hoffmann, President Cox Media Group
Board of Directors:
- Michael J. Ahearn, Managing Partner, True North Venture Partners, L.P.
- Arthur M. Blank, Co-Founder, The Home Depot, Inc., Owner and Chief Executive Officer, Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Force
- Anne Cox Chambers, Chairman, Atlanta Newspapers
- Janet Morrison Clarke, President, Clarke Littlefield, LLC
- S. Taylor Glover, President and Chief Executive Officer, Turner Enterprises
- John M. Dyer, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Cox Enterprises
- Jimmy W. Hayes, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cox Enterprises
- James C. Kennedy, Chairman, Cox Enterprises, Inc.
- Brady L. "Tripp" Rackley, Board of Advisors, Firethorn Holdings
- Christopher Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Williams Capital Group L.P.
Major holders: Cox Enterprises: Cox Family (98%, Anne Cox Chambers, James Cox Kennedy, Blair Parry-Okeden, Garner Anthony).
Teacher, journalist, politician and finally media mogul – the stations in company founder James M. Cox's life tell of an American picture-book career, Cox, born in 1870, initially wanted to become a teacher after finishing school, a plan which he soon abandoned in favour of his political and journalist ambitions. He worked as a secretary to a congressman, later became a journalist at the Cincinnati Enquirer and bought the Dayton Evening newspaper in 1898 for 26.000$. Seven years later, he bought his second newspaper, the Springfield Press-Republican.
The newspaper provided him with the necessary mainstay for a very successful political career. First as US congressman and later as a three-time governor of Ohio. In 1920, the democrat Cox even ran for president (with Franklin D. Roosevelt as vice), but succumbed to his rival Warren Harding, who had also been a publisher in Ohio at that time.
When he was done with his active political career, Cox began to turn his newspaper company into a full fledged media company. Following the acquisition of further newspapers, Cox founded WHIO in 1923, Dayton's first radio station. TV stations for Dayton and Atlanta followed in 1948/1949. Since 1950, the newspaper The Atlanta Constitution, the flagship of the company, has also been a part of the ever-expanding company. When James M. Cox died in 1957, his company owned seven newspapers, three television stations and numerous radio stations.
During the late 1950s and the early 1960s, Cox Enterprises continued to invest in the TV market, under the leadership of James M. Cox Jr., who took over the company leadership after his father's day. It was one of the first large US-American television companies, which entered the cable television business through the acquisition of a cable network in Pennsylvania 1962. In the same year, the chairman-to-be of the Cox Broadcasting Corporation, J.L. Reinsch, arranged the historical first presidential debate to be broadcasted on television between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon.
The Cox family's radio companies were combined into a public company in 1964, while the newspapers remained in direct private ownership of Cox Enterprises. In 1968, the cable TV channel were also combined and turned into a public company, the Cox Cable Communications. Cox Broadcasting developed more businesses in 1968 and 1969, buying automotive auction house Manheim Serivices and Kansas City Automobile Auction. The TeleRep. television advertising company was added to the company portfolio in 1972.
Cox Cable merged with Cox Broadcasting in 1977 and became Cox Communications in 1982. In 1985, the family converted the Cox Communications back into a business partnership and combined the company with the parent company Cox Enterprises. The grandchild of the founder, James Kennedy, took over the family company leadership in 1987. In 1991, Cox merged its automotive auction house business with the one by Ford Motor Credit/GE Capital and bought the Direct-Mail-coupon company Val Pal Direct Marketing. In 1994, Cox launched Sprint Spectrum LP, together with iSpring, TCI (today a part of AT&T) and Comcast, under which its telecommunication services would be bundled henceforth. In 1995, Cox Enterprise bought the Times Mirror Cable Television. As part as another restructuring, the Cox Communications Inc. once again became a listed company for a short time, but 73% of all shares stayed with the founding family. The lucrative TV cable activities are one of the most important business fields of the former newspaper company, ahead of its automotive auction houses.
In mid-2007, Cox pushed off its 25% involvement in Discovery Communication. Its eyes on selling the largest parts of its weekly and daily newspapers, Cox Enterprises announced a significant change within its company structure in early December 2008. The remaining traditional media activities (newspaper, TV and radio) were combined under the roof of Cox Media Group.
In the late 1990s, the company began a phase of strategic re-orientation. Cox Enterprises agreed to selling the Primestar satellite business to the competitor Hughes Electronic (Direct TV) in early 1999. Cox was involved in Primestar Inc. with 10,4 percent. Cox Broadcasting also quit the production business for good and liquidated its 100% subsidiary Rysher Entertainment (production company: HBOs „Sex and the City“, CBSs „Nash Bridges“ hit show „Entertainment Tonight“ and more). The loss-making film stuido Ryshers was closed as early as 1997, The rights to Ryshers' film and television library as well as the current productions were taken over by Paramount. Instead, the company diligently continued expanding and extending its cable systems. Today, Cox Communications is one of the leading US-providers of digital telecommunication services via cable television.
The media company's aim is to establish itself as a leading provider of digital service in the long term. Cox Communication is especially concerned with supplying his 6 million customers cable television in packages (bundled with broadband Internet-access, digital televisions and phone).
Although the rumour mill kept spouting out rumours claiming that Cox Communications would be up for sake, the Cox clan took an offensive stance in 2004 and took over the diversified holdings for 8,5 billion US-Dollars. That puts the most profitable part of the company once again into private control. Cox Radio remained the only public segment of the company, until the family decided to buy back this part of the company eventually.
The re-privatization of Cox Communications left an ashen aftertase caused buy a case of insider trade against Garner Anthony, former chairman and husband of company founder's daughter Barbara Anthony Cox, initiated by the American stock market supervisory authority. The court case ended in a settlement in 2006 without any admission of guilt and a fine of 100.000 US-Dollars for Anthony.
Unlike many listed media companies, the company that is still in the hands of the Cox family seems to navigate calm waters at the moment. Especially the digital service and broadband-cable network segments ensure a stable growth rate.
The year 2005 also saw a generational shift in the top floor office of Cox Enterprises. The automotive-information division was also extended in 2006. The dissolution of the „Trader Publishing Company“ (with Landmark Communications) also steered more than 300 car and truck publications the company's way and these were combined with the online adverts portal auto-trader under the roof of the Cox Auto Trader.
In early June 2007, co-owner Barbara Anne Cox (84), daughter of company founder James M. Cox died. Her son Jim Kennedy led the company from 1988 to 2008. According to the Forbes Magazine, her bequeathed private fortune and that of her sister Anne Cox Chambers, was estimated at 12,6 billion US-Dollars. The inheritance went to her daughter living in Australia, the children's book author Blair Parry-Okeden. The members of the Cox clan are regulars in the upper ranks of the Forbes lists. In January 2009, Jimmy Hayes stepped up to be the successor to Jim Kennedy. Hayes might not be a family member, but has been working in the company for 30 years. Kennedy still sits in the board of the directors.
The core business of Cox Enterprises are divided into three segments:
Cable Network and telecommunications
Several large cable television networks (approx. 6,6 million subscribers), broadband Internet access, telephone services, such as Mobile phone (Spring PCS).
Automotive trade and business communications
Manheim Auto Auctions (Automotive auction houses located at 83 locations in the USA, Canada, France and Great Britain). Autotrader.com (Online-advertising portal).
Television, radio and newspapers: 15 TV stations (including KTVU, and KICU-TV in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose market, WSB-TV in the Atlanta market, WSB-TV in the Atlanta market, WFTV and WRDQ in the Orlando-Daytona Beach-FL market, WPXI in the Pittsburgh market, WSOC-TV and WAXN-TV in the Charlotte-NC market, WHIO-TV in the Dayton-OH market), 86 radio stations, 8 newspapers (including The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Austin American Statesman, The Palm Beach Post, Dayton Daily News) and 16 weekly newspapers.
the Open Society Foundations' Media Program,
Germany's Federal Agency for Civic Education,
the Rudolf Augstein Foundation,
the city of Cologne, Germany,
and the State of Thuringia, Department of Commerce.