Press Releases

Cox Enterprises to Sell Three North Carolina Dailies to Cooke Communications


ATLANTA, July 20, 2009 - Cox Enterprises, Inc. announced today it has reached a definitive agreement to sell The Greenville (NC) Daily Reflector, The Rocky Mount (NC) Telegram, The Elizabeth City (NC) Daily Advance, and ten weekly newspapers to Cooke Communications LLC, a privately held family company headed by John Kent Cooke. The transaction is expected to close on July 31, 2009.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger-and-acquisition firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, acted as an advisor to Cox Enterprises in the transaction.

“We will continue the strong tradition of family-owned independent newspapers serving these communities of eastern North Carolina,” said John Kent Cooke. “We look forward to working with the talented staffs at these newspapers to continue to provide timely, accurate local news that matters to readers’ lives.”

Mr. Cooke’s eldest son, John Kent Cooke, Jr., will move to the Greenville area with his wife Wendy and daughter Juliette to become president of the newly-formed Cooke Communications North Carolina and publisher of The Daily Reflector.

“The Daily Reflector, Rocky Mount Telegram and The Daily Advance provide a valuable service to multiple communities across North Carolina,” said Doug Franklin, executive vice president, Cox Newspapers. “Cox Enterprises began as a family-owned newspaper, and we’re confident that the Cook family will be excellent owners of these papers and continue to foster a strong commitment to the community and advertisers.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

If you have further questions contact Dirks, Van Essen & Murray at 505-820-2700, or visit our website at www.dirksvanessen.com.

Cooke Communications LLC
Cooke Communications LLC is a private corporation headed by John Kent Cooke. It owns The Key West Citizen (8,900 daily, 9,749 Sunday), a number of weekly newspapers stringing the Florida Keys, and internet publishing business floridakeys.com

Previously, John Kent Cooke was part owner of The Los Angeles Daily News, the Washington Redskins and The Chrysler Building in New York City, among other businesses. Mr. Cooke was executive vice president of the Washington Redskins for 18 years and retired as president upon the liquidation of the family company to fund the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Mr. Cooke resides in Middleburg, Virginia where he established The Boxwood Winery.

John Kent Cooke, Jr. has been publisher of The Key West Citizen, the weekly Free Press community papers and keysnews.com for nine years. He graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. His media experience includes working as a reporter at The Fauquier Times Democrat in Warrenton, Virginia and the Steamboat Pilot and Today newspapers in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. John was also director of marketing and stadium operations for the Washington Redskins in the 1990s.

If you have further questions contact Dirks, Van Essen & Murray at 505-820-2700.

Cox Enterprisesbr> Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company. With revenues exceeding $15 billion and more than 77,000 employees, the company’s major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications, Inc. (cable television distribution, telephone, high-speed Internet access, commercial telecommunications, advertising solutions and the Travel Channel); Manheim, Inc. (vehicle auctions, repair and certification services and web-based technology products); Cox Media Group, Inc. (television stations, digital media, newspapers, advertising sales rep firms and Cox Radio, Inc.); and AutoTrader.com (online automotive classifieds and related publications). Additionally, Cox’s Internet operations include Kudzu.com and Adify Corporation, a unit of Cox TMI, Inc.