Cox Unloads 13 N.C. Papers

Cox Enterprises has sold its properties in North Carolina to Cooke Communications. The deal, which includes The Greenville Daily Reflector, The Rocky Mount Telegram, The Elizabeth City Daily Advance and 10 weeklies, is expected to close on July 31 for an undisclosed sum.

Cooke Communications is a privately held company headed by John Kent Cooke, who was a part-owner of the Los Angeles Daily News, the Washington Redskins and the Chrysler building in New York. Cooke Communications operates The Key West (Fla.) Citizen in addition to Florida weeklies.

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

John Kent Cooke Jr. is taking over the newly formed Cooke Communications North Carolina and will become publisher of the Daily Reflector.

“Cox Enterprises began as a family-owned newspapers,” Cooke added. “We’re confident that the Cooke family will be excellent owners of these papers.”

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray handled the transaction.

Last week, Cox sold some of its properties in Texas and Colorado.

Nielsen Business Media