Cox takes Austin paper off the auction block


Cox Enterprises, which has recently sold a number of its newspapers, has decided to hold onto the Austin American-Statesman. There were a number of bids, but Cox Enterprises decided none were good enough. So, it will hold onto the Texas daily.

“Cox said from the beginning that it would not preside over a fire sale. This is a profitable company, and it just did not make sense to sell if for the prices offered,” Statesman Publisher Michael Vivio was quoted as saying in his own newspaper. He told employees Thursday that the Austin paper was no longer for sale – and was greeted by cheers and applause.

One of the unsuccessful bidders, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette owner Walter Hussman Jr., told the Statesman his group had made a “good, improved offer” and had though that Cox was going to accept it. But it did not.

Cox Enterprises continues to market its other Texas newspapers, all of which are in smaller markets than Austin. In addition to 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.