A global company with rich heritage that started right here.
Cox Media Group (CMG), was formed in 1989 and has grown to a single integrated broadcasting, publishing and digital media company. Below you’ll see some significant events that define CMG’s history.
James M. Cox Purchases Dayton Evening News with its Associated Press franchise for $26,000. He changed the paper’s name to the Dayton Daily News, and the first issue under his ownership was published Aug. 22, 1898. To Cox, media—and later politics—represented an opportunity to serve the community and act as an ‘instrument of truth’ for the people.
With the Dayton Daily News annual profits now at $26,000—what he had paid for the paper—Cox had broken even and decided to expand. Purchasing the Springfield Press-Republic on June 1, 1905, he made it an afternoon paper, changed its name to Dayton Daily News.
Cox wanted to relocate the growing Dayton Daily News, but the local banker denied him a loan, telling him that newspapers were never known for earning money. Cox then built a new building in an imposing Greek Revival style, which looked so much like a bank that customers often mistook it as such—much to his delight.
Cox visited Miami, Florida in 1923 and liked it so much that he decided to buy the Miami Metropolis, the oldest newspaper in south Florida. Cox changed its name to the Miami Daily News. He also bought land in Miami Beach to build a winter home.
Governor Cox purchased the Canton Daily News in 1923 and selected Don Mellet as editor. Canton was known as a tough, corrupt steel town and in 1926, Mellet launched an editorial crusade against the city’s organized crime. Mellet’s battle against organized crime won the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for community service, the first Pulitzer won by a Cox newspaper. Cox sold the paper in 1930.
Cox’s first radio station, WHIO, went on air in Dayton on Feb. 9, 1935. Jim Cox, Jr. was fascinated with radio, a new technology of the time, and is credited with leading his father into the medium. Governor Cox gave an eloquent on-air dedication, saying, “May I express this christening sentiment – that the voice of this Miami Valley empire will always be an instrument of dignity, culture and practical service.” What's turned into this giant broadcast media company started at WHIO in Dayton with the mission of service to the community.
At 8 p.m. on Sept. 29, 1948, television made its debut in Atlanta via Cox’s WSB-TV, which called itself the “Eyes of the South.” Atlanta-area residents began buying television sets four months before WSB-TV started broadcasting, and approximately 2,500 receivers were in homes when the station went on the air.
Governor Cox purchased the Atlanta Constitution in 1950, just a few days before his 80th birthday.
In December 1955, WSB Radio and TV moved to an elegant new home — “White Columns” on Peachtree Street. With the new facilities, the stations – broadcasting pioneers and leaders in Atlanta – enhanced their reputation for “big league.”
Three generations gathered for the dedication of the new Dayton Daily News building: Jim Cox Jr., Governor James M. Cox and his grandson and current Chairman of Cox Enterprises, Jim Kennedy. Governor Cox died less than a month later.
Cox’s Washington News Office opened in 1969, giving Cox broadcasting stations a link to the nation’s capital. The Office also service as a communication channel for Cox communities in the U.S. Congress. Cox Newspapers created its own Washington Bureau in 1974, which combined with the Broadcasting Office in 1998.
WSB-TV, then an NBC affiliate, and the Fernbank Science Center produced pictures and dialogue of the moon landing that NBC then transmitted through the United States and several foreign countries. Thanks to this effort, NBC was the only network to show live shots of the lunar surface.
Cox Enterprises brings together its television, newspaper, radio and various digital businesses, as well as Valpak and national broadcast advertising firm CoxReps under one organization, now known as Cox Media Group.
CMG completed a studio lighting upgrade by replacing incandescent lighting with modern fluorescent lights at a number of its television locations. The upgrade reduces studio energy consumption by up to 45 percent and prevents more than 780 tons of carbon from entering the environment.
CMG newspapers in Atlanta, Austin, Dayton and Palm Beach offer readers full suites of paid and free digital products, including new subscriber-only premium websites and mobile applications that allow total access to in-depth news content on computers, tablets and smartphones.
CMG music radio stations become the first to offer apps for iPhone, iPad and Android to provide listeners with a real-time interactive experience featuring live audio streams from their favorite music stations, voting for the songs they’d like to hear next, an ‘open mic’ feature allowing them to create a high quality dedication in their own voice, and extensive integration with Facebook and Twitter.
CMG launches a social content hub called Rare.us. This innovative new product is the latest example of CMGs transformation into a digital media company.
CMG TV stations first to use drone technology to cover news.
CMG Radio celebrates five 2015 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Award Winners.
Five major broadcast television station groups collectively reaching two-thirds of U.S. TV households have formed NewsON, a new venture to provide live and same-day local TV newscasts on demand from leading stations around the country to consumers’ mobile and selected connected TV devices.
Videa, a Cox-backed supply-side platform bringing automation and data-driven decision-making to broadcast television, made its debut at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.
CMG named as the No. 2 Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner in North America for Customer Satisfaction.
The next chapter in CMG history began on December 17 as Cox Enterprises the parent company of CMG reaches an agreement for funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management to buy majority stake in Cox Media Group.