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Screen shot of website

Cox Enterprises, the Atlanta-based conglomerate that owns newspapers, television stations and radio stations, says it plans to sell 14 TV stations across the country through mergers or a partnership with a large ownership group.

Why it matters: In a note to employees, Cox Media Group President Kim Guthrie says that the decision "will likely mean that we will no longer solely control our existing TV portfolio."

The details: In her note, Guthrie says Cox is in the beginning stages of the process and expects that it will take six months to a year to complete.

  • She cites "deregulation, new competitors, changing media habits and a rapidly evolving landscape of mergers and acquisitions" as reasons that are are prompting many media operators to consider new ways to compete.
  • "Our analysis shows that scale is critical to be successful," she adds.

It's the latest example of Cox downsizing in response to a rocky landscape for legacy media owners. Earlier this year, Cox shut down its digital college sports verticals as a result of business challenges.

In another note to employees, Cox Enterprises President and CEO Alex Taylor says the media landscape "is in broad transformation right now with companies like Amazon and Netflix pouring billions into original programming." He says that Cox has come to the conclusion that scale is "critical to the future of TV."

The big picture: Cox has been in the local broadcast business for decades. It owns stations all over the country, including in Seattle, Boston, Orlando, Atlanta, Memphis and more.

Taylor notes how personal the decision is for him and his family.

"Broadcast television has been part of our DNA since my great-grandfather bought WSB-TV in 1948 and it became the “Eyes of the South.” A big part of the Cox story is about media and how it fueled the growth and diversification of the rest of the company today. "
— Cox CEO Alex Taylor

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

2 hours ago - World

Sudan's military places civilian prime minister under house arrest

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were also detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

Why it matters: The arrests of the civilian faction in the Sudanese government came a day after U.S. envoy Jeffrey Feltman met with the head of the military faction of the Sudanese government General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and warned him against staging a coup.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Saudi dissident claims MBS said he could get "poison ring" to kill king

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, via video link, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Photo: Royal Court of Saudi Arabia/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A former senior Saudi intelligence official who worked with the U.S. on counterterrorism alleged to "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed in 2014 killing the kingdom's then-monarch.

Why it matters: The claim by the exiled Saad al-Jabri, whom Saudi authorities describe as "a discredited former government official," that the crown prince, known as "MBS," allegedly said he could obtain a "ring from Russia" to carry out the attack, is one of several serious but unproven allegations he made on the CBS show.