Cox finds another newspaper buyer


Who says there are no buyers for newspapers? Cox Enterprises has announced yet another sale from the portfolio of newspapers it put up for sale last year. This time it’s a buyer for three daily and 10 weekly newspapers in North Carolina.

The buyer is Cooke Communications LLC, a privately-held family company headed by John Kent Cooke. If that name sounds familiar, his father, the late Jack Kent Cook, made his fortune in cable television and then owned the Washington Redskins NFL team.

The daily newspapers Cooke is buying from Cox are The Daily Reflector (Greenville), Rocky Mount Telegram and The Daily Advance (Elizabeth City).

The 10 weekly publications include the Beaufort-Hyde News (Bellhaven), Bertie-Ledger Advance (Windsor), The Chowan Herald (Edenton), Duplin Times (Kenansville), The Enterprise (Williamston), Farmville Enterprise, Perquimans Weekly (Elizabeth City), Standard Laconic (Snow Hill), Times-Leader (Ayden-Grifton) and Weekly Herald (Robersonville).

“We will continue the strong tradition of family-owned independent newspapers serving these communities of eastern North Carolina. 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,” said John Kent Cooke.

Cooke’s eldest son, John Kent Cooke Jr., will move to the Greenville area to become president of Cooke Communications North Carolina and publisher of The Daily Reflector. It is anticipated that virtually all employees will be retained under the new ownership, the owner-to-be said.

Just last week Cox Enterprises announced the sale of two dailies in Texas. It continues to market its remaining newspapers in Texas, the largest of which is the Austin American-Statesman.

Once the divestitures are complete, Cox Enterprises will retain ownership of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Palm Beach Post, Dayton Daily News and their affiliated publications. It also has major interests in radio, television and cable.