Cox Media reorganizes upper management

Doug Franklin, Bob Neil named exec vps

Cox Media Group announced Wednesday a new top management organization in order to integrate its radio, TV and newspaper businesses. While each of the local brands will continue to operate independently, the new model is designed to make it easier for each of the businesses to share talent, operating efficiencies and cost savings, as well as expand digital initiatives.

The new structure comes several months after Cox combined its media businesses into one group, consolidated its national advertising firms into Cox Reps and took Cox Radio private.

As part of the reorganization, newspaper exec Doug Franklin and radio exec Bob Neil were named to the newly created position of executive vp. Both will oversee a mix of broadcasting, print and digital properties reporting to Sandy Schwartz, president of Cox Media Group.

In his new position, Franklin will oversee all digital operations for Cox Media Group and serve as the company's newspaper expert. Franklin was most recently publisher of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Palm Beach Post.

Neil, who will remain president of Cox Radio, will oversee all research operations for Cox Media Group and serve as the company's radio expert.

"We're creating a leadership model to better reflect the reality of today's media marketplace," said Schwartz. "As the boundaries between traditional and digital media merge, it's important to have leaders in place who can think broadly across the media landscape as they guide our way forward."

In addition to the top management positions, Cox began putting in place regional cross-media management positions, naming Alex Taylor group vp for its Dayton and Louisville properties. The former publisher of the Palm Beach Post will now oversee Cox's newspaper, TV and radio properties in Dayton, Ohio, and publications in surrounding areas and Cox's four FM radio stations in Louisville, Ky.

"Dayton is a key market for our new business model as Cox develops into a fully integrated media company," said Franklin, to whom Taylor reports. "As the boundaries between traditional and new media merge, it's important to have leaders like Alex in place who can think broadly across the media landscape."

The company said it does not expect any job eliminations to result from the new model "at this time.
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