WTOV9 Is Up For Sale By Cox

Atlanta-based Cox Media Group is selling television station WTOV9 in Steubenville, as the company seeks to refocus its efforts on “larger markets.”

Along with the Steubenville station, information from Cox shows it is selling TV stations in El Paso, Texas; Johnstown, Pa.; and Reno, Nev. Also on the sale block are radio stations in Birmingham, Ala.; Greenville, S.C.; Louisville, Ky.; Richmond, Va.; Hawaii; and southern Connecticut.

Cox is replacing these stations with four new channels in Jacksonville, Fla., and Tulsa, Okla., according to company information.

“This simplified structure will enable Cox Media Group to capitalize on continued growth and synergies, while retaining its size financially,” said Cox President Doug Franklin. “All of our media outlets, regardless of size, are valuable, profitable brands with strong futures thanks to the hard work and dedication of our talented professionals who serve their audiences, advertisers and communities. We thank the leaders and employees in the locations we’re selling for their outstanding contributions to this company over the years and the valuable service they will continue to provide their respective communities.”

The Steubenville-based station is an affiliate of the NBC network. According to the station’s website, WTOV9 began operation as a CBS affiliate upon its opening in 1953. In 1980, the station changed its network affiliation to NBC. Cox has operated the station since 2000.

“Our new business realignment enables us to simplify our structure and continue our strategic initiatives of driving cash flow, extending our strong local brands into digital and continuing the development of our talented people,” said Franklin. “We will also continue to bolster our core portfolio with new, high-growth initiatives that focus on emerging advertising and scalable content.”

Tim McCoy, WTOV9 vice president and general manager, said Tuesday the station was preparing to release a statement on the pending sale. However, the station did not provide a statement by press time.

Officials with Cox did not respond to requests for additional comment.