How to stay in touch with customers through Covid-19.

Posted by Zuri Stanback on May 18, 2020

a woman sitting at home on mobile phone

At this very moment, the shopper landscape is changing in ways few marketers could have anticipated in the face of COVID-19. As consumers continue to adapt to social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantine procedures, they must adjust their everyday behavior.

And as they learn to navigate this new reality, retailers across all categories will need to do the same and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly. We’ve compiled a few strategies in collaboration with our certified CMG location data partner to help you navigate during these uncertain times.

Observe the Trends

There’s a lot retailers can do both to service their customers in the current retail climate and to prepare for the weeks and months to come. Arming yourself with vital data about consumer behavior, purchasing patterns, and foot traffic trends is at the top of the list. Using Visitation Data from a certified CMG Location Data Partner like GroundTruth, you can stay up-to-date on daily foot traffic changes to key verticals, such as Grocery, Warehouse/Club, Retail and Restaurants, and more.

foot traffic to businesses

Foot traffic shows the week of March 9th was the beginning of the major shift in consumer behavior due to the pandemic. Foot traffic to Warehouse/Club and Grocery stores peaked on March 14th 75% and 46% above average, respectively. By the end of that week, we started to see major declines in foot traffic to Restaurants and Retail locations as many retailers were mandated to shut their doors or switch to delivery/takeout only options.

Keep in Touch With Loyal Customers

GroundTruth’s data about consumers’ past visitation behaviors can be used to connect customers with the offers that are most relevant to them. For example, brands can reach their most loyal customers with location-based mobile ads that share store hours and product availability, the store location nearest to them, the distance to that store, and any timely information to keep them informed.

Target Customers via Mobile Screens

Another strategy for keeping your brand top of mind is using residential targeting to deliver relevant messaging and offers to mobile devices while consumers are at home. For a successful neighborhood targeting strategy, a mailing list or CRM is needed.

Address Inventory Concerns

One of the worries on consumers’ minds these days is whether they can still get the products they need. Many have already discovered first-hand that it can be difficult to find items like cough syrup, toilet paper, canned goods, and meat.

This means brands must find creative ways to maintain an ongoing dialogue with potential customers even when they aren’t physically in a retail store. This includes keeping them informed about product availability in-store, ordering online, delivery options, and the ability to pick up curbside or on-site.

Attract First-Time Customers

Because consumers are adjusting their approach to shopping, visiting different retail channels and trying new products when their favorites are unavailable, retailers have the opportunity to target first-time customers. You can use this time to build a positive association with your brand.

One way to do this is by conquesting major competitors’ audiences to introduce your brand to shoppers and let them know you’re stocking essential and in-demand products. Including a first-time customer offer in your ad can boost consideration. This approach will also help keep your brand top of mind, as many consumers are increasing their daily screen time to stay connected.

Cox Media Group Local Solutions Can Help

Until we can put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, it’s important to get creative and focus on strategies that will help shift your business into the current landscape and out the other side for the benefit of both customers and the community at large.​ Cox Media Group Local Solutions can help you transition your marketing game plan to facilitate growth in this uncertain atmosphere. Contact us.

Want to learn more about strategies for staying connected with your customers during COVID-19? We take a deeper dive with our trusted data partner in this free white paper, How to Stay Connected to Your Customers During COVID-19.” – Download your copy today!

K99.1FM’s Nancy Wilson wins national award.

 

May 13, 2020 -- (Dayton, OH) -- Nancy Wilson of K99.1FM (WHKO) was announced as a winner of the 45th annual Gracie Award presented by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF).  The list of honorees included such nationally known personalities as Amy Poehler, Natasha Lyonne, Tamron Hall, Naomi Watts, Norah O'Donnell along with 100 others.

The Gracies recognize exemplary programming created by, for and about women in radio, television, and interactive media. Honorees are selected in national, local and student markets, including both commercial and non-commercial outlets. This year’s honorees represent the substance and ethos of women’s storytelling and journalism at its best.  Their work during this global state of affairs – full of innovation, courage and endurance – serves as inspiration today for the journalists of tomorrow.

"Nancy defines what's right in the media industry.  She cares most about the community through charity efforts, helping people any way she can and entertains the market hosting the top morning show in the region.  She literally does hundreds of charitable appearances every year donating countless hours of work.  She's never turned any organization down that's asked for her help.  This isn't just for the past couple of years, this has been consistent for decades." said Nick Roberts, an executive at the radio station.

Some of the honorees have recorded special messages of thanks and appreciation:

Becky Brooks, Executive Director, The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation stated, “Our leadership is proud to honor the best of the best who embody the spirit and intention of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation’s Gracie Awards. We want to thank those on the front lines telling the important stories still impacting our world. It is our distinguished honor to recognize the reporters, hosts, producers and media executives who are working to ensure the public is informed. We know everyone in media has been impacted in some way, and we continue to salute this outstanding list of honorees for their award-winning passion, energy and perseverance.”

Full information is at this link:

https://allwomeninmedia.org/2020/05/13/2020-gracie-award-winners-press-release/

 

WHIO-TV wins Edward R. Murrow awards.

WHIO-TV Wins 2 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

May 12, 2020 (DAYTON, OH) — The Radio Television News Directors Association, RTDNA, has awarded WHIO-TV two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for coverage of the Oregon District Mass Shooting and aftermath of the Memorial Day tornadoes.

The entire News Center 7 team of anchors, reporters, photojournalists, producers, editors, Breaking News Team, digital team and managers received a Regional Murrow Award for their more than 16 hours of continuous Oregon District Mass Shooting breaking news coverage.

In addition, WHIO-TV News Anchor James Brown and Photojournalist Michael Burianek’s special Making A Difference: Helping Strangers, which profiled the kindness of strangers following the Memorial Day tornadoes, received a Regional Murrow Award for Excellence in Writing.

“This community and our staff endured so much in 2019. It was a year of local news that impacted all of us, none like any of us have experienced,” said Caryn Golden, WHIO-TV News Director. “The events of 2019 reinforces to me why local news is so important to a community. There’s no greater responsibility than helping to save the lives of our neighbors, and informing them of what’s impacting our community, and help them navigate through it. I’m incredibly proud of this team and this recognition is well deserved.”

The Murrow Awards are the embodiment of the values, principles and standards set forth by Edward R. Murrow, a journalism pioneer who set the standards for the highest quality of broadcast journalism. Of the awards given to journalists, the Murrow Awards are among the most respected journalism awards in the world. Murrow Award winning stories put public interest above all else, provide a catalyst for public discussion, and adhere to the RTDNA Code of Ethics.

“The Edward R. Murrow Awards recognize stories that uphold highest ethical and quality standards while delivering value and impact to our viewers,” “said Rob Rohr, WHIO-TV Vice Present and General Manager. “I am extremely proud of the work of our journalists do every day at WHIO to cover the most important stories of our region at a level that has been recognized as among the best in our field.”

WHIO-TV’s two winning Regional Murrow Awards, for Breaking News Coverage and Excellence in Writing, now automatically advance to national judging, and are under consideration for National Murrow Awards.

News Center 7’s RTDNA wins follow the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors Association, Ohio APME, honoring WHIO-TV with 16 awards for excellence, including 9 first place finishes, in March. These include General Excellence; Best Spot News: Oregon District Mass Shooting; Best Continuing Coverage: Memorial Day Tornadoes and Best Digital Presence: whio.com.

WHIO-TV is the #1 CBS affiliate in the country. The station is part of CMG, Cox Media Group, and employs 89 people in content and sales in the Dayton, Ohio area, led by General Manager Rob Rohr and News Director Caryn Golden.

Social media advertising has changed.

By this point, we're sure that you've been receiving thousands of emails, LinkedIn InMail articles, and Facebook posts regarding advertising efficiency during this coronavirus pandemic. Some advertising outlets are spelling the end of the world as we know it, and many others are suggesting that advertising is even more powerful in the wake of unprecedented national lockdowns.

Neither is exactly true. Sure, advertising has completely changed during this friction-filled timeline. How could it not? However, our conversation shouldn't just be about efficiency. It should be about an overarching strategy, focused on delivering relevant, ROI positive results.

How can you shift your advertising focus to best suit the current global situation? What strategies should you use to ensure that your campaigns reach people with meaningful content over the coming week and months? Advertising has always been (and will always be) about delivering relevancy. Obviously, relevancy currently centers around COVID-19. The question is: how do you leverage that relevancy without leaning too hard into a pandemic?

Businesses can digitally engage with customers more than ever before because people are in their homes and looking at their screens more than ever. This is the perfect time to utilize various social media platforms to expand your brand awareness and drive customers to your website.

Social Distancing vs Physical Distancing:

As you have probably seen in the news, most countries (including the U.S.) are recommending that everyone practice social distancing. However, what they really mean is that you need to physically distance yourself from other people. That doesn't mean that you can't be sociable. In fact, thanks to social media, many people are socializing more now than they did before the pandemic; they are just doing it virtually.

Since the virus entered the country in January of this year, social media usage has dramatically increased. According to Statista, as the pandemic continues, the number of people who use social media platforms will continue to rise.

Here is a look at how much growth some of the major players are expecting to see:

  • Facebook is expected to have a 63% increase
  • Instagram is expected to have a 43% increase
  • Pinterest is expected to have a 32% increase
  • LinkedIn is expected to have a 15% increase

The numbers present a pretty clear story: social media platforms are becoming more popular than ever. Opportunity awaits and your business must utilize these platforms in order to stay connected with your customers. Make sure to use these sites often so that your customers know that your company is still open and that even though they need to practice physical distancing, they can still interact and do business with you.

Social Media Best Practices During These Changing Times

It feels like COVID-19 came into our country almost instantly and changed life as we know it. It's times like these that have us all rethinking lots of things, but the focus here is social advertising practices and strategies. Here are some strategies to consider and implement across your social campaigns:

Send the RIGHT Message and Keep Your Presence Current

  • When you utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, it is important that you are sending the right message to your customers. Make sure that your message is empathetic and caring. Let your customers know that your company is still here to help and support them through this difficult and scary time.
  • Also, if you do operate an essential business, like a grocery store or gas station, and customers are able to still physically walk into your place of business, be sure to update your new hours and any special restrictions you may be observing. The more communicative you can be, the better.
  • It's very important to embed your content and ads with empathy and sensitivity. This cannot be overstated.

Avoid Trigger Words

  • You can talk about social distancing. You can talk about health. However, you should try to avoid specifically mentioning the coronavirus or COVID-19. For starters, people are getting tired of hearing about it.
  • Facebook is starting to crack-down on a lot of posts and ads that make any claims about COVID-19. If you do mention the virus, don't make yourself out to look like an expert on the topic. New information and misinformation are filling up the internet as is. It's best to avoid adding to the noise. You don't have to talk about the coronavirus to understand the way it is changing how we communicate with each other.

Change Up Your Creative

  • It's not business as usual. Remember all those great ads you came up with at the end of the year? You probably need to replace them.
  • You need to audit your ads. Plenty of brands have ads centered around typical springtime activities that aren't happening right now.
  • Remove creative that mentions traveling to other places and events for more than 10 people.

In the end, this is a unique and difficult time for everyone, and many companies are trying to navigate their way through these uncharted territories alone. The main thing to remember is that social media is a great tool to stay connected to your target audience and ensure you build strong relationships that outlast the pandemic.

You still need the right game plan to succeed on social media. Do you need help restructuring your campaigns to fit the current narrative? Are you looking to deliver critical value to consumers during this time? At Cox Media Group Local Solutions, we're connecting with our clients to help them navigate the complex landscape of social media ads during "social" distancing. We're here and willing to walk you through best practices, lend a supportive hand when you need us and facilitate growth for your business. Contact Us Today.

Local radio surges during pandemic.

 

COVID-19 has profoundly impacted the way that we all consume media. As each state continues to usher in its own unique set of social distancing guidelines, local communities have banded together to stay updated, informed, and actionable during this global pandemic. At Cox Media Group, we are interested in how this new sense of community fueled by micro-level legislation and health care was impacting the way people consumed local audio.

We recently surveyed 11,301 listeners to uncover what role local radio was playing in their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. A massive 94% of consumers have listened to local radio since the outbreak began while one-third say they have listened more. Not only are consumers turning to local stations for relevant information regarding the pandemic, but they're doing it outside of their cars. In the past, commute hours have made up a significant portion of listenership. In today's ecosystem, 32% of consumers used a local radio station app, 29% used a desktop or a laptop, and 36% have used a smart speaker to stream a local station.

Social distancing guidelines have changed how consumers are listening to radio stations and streaming content. On a broader scale, these changes are reshaping customer journeys and defining the way that consumers are digesting content during their daily lives. What devices are people utilizing to consume radio and streaming audio content? How has the novel coronavirus changed the way consumers listen to music and radio programming? And how does this all tie into the changes to work that have taken place due to micro and macro guidelines and legislation?

Read the official press release below

CMG Multi-Market Radio Impact Study Underscores Continued Strength of Radio Amidst COVID-19

Study Finds Radio Continues to Play to Its Strengths while 'Local' Soars as Top Differentiator

ATLANTA - APRIL 23, 2020 - Cox Media Group (CMG) today announced the findings of a multi-market research study that measured the impact of radio and other audio content amidst COVID-19. The study, conducted from March 30, 2020, through April 3, 2020, was fielded online with audiences in a wide variety of demographics, ranging from 18 to 54 years of age. The study yielded more than 11,000 responses.

The study found that one-third of participants are listening to radio more since the Coronavirus outbreak. As importantly, is what they are listening to. Since the outbreak, 94% of participants indicated that they have tuned into local radio more than any other streaming service for music, talk and information, demonstrating that as radio continues to evolve, 'local' ranks as one of the most important differentiators.

Delivery matters, as well, with consumers having more and more options to move from one device to another - radio just being one of the many devices in their daily life. Since the outbreak, audiences are listening, more or the same amount of time with a smartphone (81%), desktop/laptop (67%), radio station app (57%), car radio (55%) and home radio (54%) almost evenly split, a tablet (48%) or a smart speaker (36%).

And as always, content is key regardless of the delivery platform. The topics listeners are most interested in receiving from their local radio stations include feel-good stories, things to make them laugh and local virus updates.

According to the survey, 68% of participants experienced a change in job status since the outbreak of COVID-19. Of those who noted the change, the greatest impact was in working from home (34%), working fewer hours (26%) or being furloughed/having lost their job (24%).

"Audience engagement is very strong by any metric you look at," said CMG Radio VP, Audience and Content Tim Clarke. "Listeners depend on our radio brands more than ever for local information, entertainment and companionship during this uncertain time. They are captive and immersed in our content on all platforms and our top personalities continue to deliver."

About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group (CMG) is an industry-leading media company with dominant brands, award-winning content, and exceptional people. CMG provides valuable local content to diverse audiences in the communities in which it serves. The company's operations include 33 market-leading television stations in 20 markets, 54 award-winning radio stations in 10 markets and numerous multi-platform streaming video and digital platforms. Cox Media Group's portfolio includes affiliates of ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and MyNetworkTV, as well as several valuable independent stations. Additionally, Cox Media Group operates the National Advertising Platform businesses of CoxReps and Gamut; and offers a full suite of local and regional advertising services with Local Solutions. For more information about Cox Media Group and its businesses, please visit www.coxmediagroup.com.

Here’s our response to Covid-19.

In light of the COVID-19 epidemic worldwide, the brands and products at Cox Media Group Ohio are committed to providing the best accurate and local information specific to the Miami Valley region in Oho.  Included in our extra local coverage includes:

  • WHIO-TV and WHIO Radio (1290AM and 95.7FM):  We are proud to carry the daily Governor Dewine press conference in it’s entirety each afternoon roughly around 2:00PM.
  • WHIO-TV and WHIO Radio (1290AM and 95.7FM):  We plan on carrying the full President Trump task force press conference and comments which usually happens roughly at 5:30PM each weekday.
  • WHIO Radio carries Miami Valley’s Morning News each morning from 4:25AM to 9:00AM with nonstop local news, weather and traffic coverage.
  • WHIO Radio is having a special edition of Miami Valley’s afternoon news from 3-6PM with live and local talk.  We are proud to take phone calls at 937-457-1290 from the community on the air.
  • WHIO Radio as a community service is simulcasting the News Center 7 TV news at 6:00PM for those who can’t be in front of a television during that time.
  • Every news story, every local angle available at WHIO.com, 24 hours a day.
  • CBS Network national news as it breaks and every evening at 6:30PM.

As always our brands are totally free to the community using over the air signals and through our apps on any mobile or TV device.  Our #1 mission is to provide as much local news as possible for the community during this difficult time.

Where to find us:

WHIO Channel 7

  • Free Over the air on 7.1
  • Spectrum Cable
  • CBS All Access
  • Youtube TV, Fubo TV, ATT TV, DirecTV, Dish

WHIO Radio

  • Free over the air at AM1290 and 95.7FM
  • Stream at WHIO.com
  • Stream at iheartradio, Tunein Radio and Radio.com

CMG launches new digital Flyers community.

February 25, 2020 -- (Dayton, Oh) -- WHIO Radio the Dayton home of University of Dayton Basketball announces a new digital community around UD sports.  The Facebook community is called "Home of the Flyers" and is now active.  The page is a place to support your team, get new content and analysis from sports experts at WHIO and keep up the date on the latest Flyers news.

Larry Hansgen, the voice of the UD Flyers on WHIO Radio said, "The fans are the best in the nation.  We want our new page to be the place where the fans can come talk about the action, and find out the latest."  Larry has been the voice of the Flyers for several decades and his inside analysis is something you can only get from WHIO.

The page just launched and already has several hundred fans.

See it at:  https://www.facebook.com/HomeOfTheFlyers/

About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group (CMG) is an industry-leading media company with dominant brands, award-winning content, and exceptional people. CMG provides valuable local content to diverse audiences in the communities in which it serves. The company's operations primarily include 33 high-quality, market-leading television stations in 20 markets, 54 radio stations in 10 markets and numerous multi-platform streaming video and digital platforms. Cox Media Group's portfolio includes primary affiliates of ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and MyNetworkTV, as well as several valuable independent stations. Additionally, Cox Media Group operates the National Advertising Platform businesses of CoxReps and Gamut; and offers a full suite of local and regional advertising services with Local Solutions. For more information about Cox Media Group and its businesses, please visit www.coxmediagroup.com.

 

CMG’s broadcast and digital properties now have a 93% reach of all Miami Valley residents weekly.

February 25, 2020 -- (Dayton, Oh) -- Cox Media Group's portfolio of broadcast television, radio, digital and direct mail products announce a new overall reach number of 93% of all Miami Valley residents every week.  This means that our brands reach more local residents that any other local media company.

"This is a big number.  This means that over 93% of everyone who lives in our region uses a CMG Ohio brand every single week.  With that kind of reach, you know every dollar you spend on advertising will have a high impact."  says James Cosby, VP of sales for CMG Ohio.

The figure comes from subscriber numbers from Nielsen Scarborough research, one of the leading demographic research firms in the United States measuring qualitative local market research in the Dayton, Ohio region.  The reach comes in part from the massive audience numbers for CMGO brands like WHIO-TV Channel 7, K99.1FM Radio and others.  More local residents get their news from WHIO than all other local news sources combined.

In addition CMGO also owns K99.1FM (WHKO) which is the #1 radio station in Dayton. WHIO Radio has been either #2 or #3 in radio audience over the 2019 Nielsen ratings periods.

About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group (CMG) is an industry-leading media company with dominant brands, award-winning content, and exceptional people. CMG provides valuable local content to diverse audiences in the communities in which it serves. The company's operations primarily include 33 high-quality, market-leading television stations in 20 markets, 54 radio stations in 10 markets and numerous multi-platform streaming video and digital platforms. Cox Media Group's portfolio includes primary affiliates of ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and MyNetworkTV, as well as several valuable independent stations. Additionally, Cox Media Group operates the National Advertising Platform businesses of CoxReps and Gamut; and offers a full suite of local and regional advertising services with Local Solutions. For more information about Cox Media Group and its businesses, please visit www.coxmediagroup.com.

 

Cox Enterprises Inc. has agreed to repurchase the Dayton Daily News.

Cox Enterprises Inc. has agreed to repurchase the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News from Apollo Global Management, the companies announced Monday.

That decision ensures the newspapers can continue seven-day a week publication, which was at risk after the Federal Communications Commission allowed Apollo to buy Cox’s TV stations only if it stopped publishing a daily newspaper in the Dayton market.

“This is the best possible outcome for the newspapers, and it means we will continue to publish a printed newspaper seven days a week, uninterrupted,” said Jana Collier, interim operations leader for the Ohio newspapers. “Our commitment to important local journalism has never waned, and we will continue to serve our communities going forward.”

Cox Enterprises was founded by James M. Cox, the former governor of Ohio who bought the Dayton Evening News in 1898 and renamed it the Dayton Daily News. Cox Enterprises owned the Dayton, Springfield and Butler County papers until December 2019. The current president and CEO of Cox Enterprises is Alex Taylor, great-grandson of Gov. Cox.

“We couldn’t be happier,” Taylor said Monday when asked about the sale. He said the Cox family has “a deep affinity for the Dayton Daily News and the superior news product it has produced for over a century,” as well as the Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News.

“Dayton, Ohio is a big part of the Cox DNA,” he said. “It’s where our family is from and where our company was founded,” said Taylor. “So it is with great excitement that we continue publishing these papers as we have for more than 100 years.”

Cox Enterprises is based in Atlanta but maintains deep ties locally. Before going to Atlanta in 2011, Taylor worked in Dayton and oversaw the integration of the local newspaper, television and radio stations. Since 2011, the Cox Foundation has donated more than $2.4 million to local causes, such as the downtown River Run Project and most recently tornado cleanup.

Local impact

The sale bucks a national trend toward media consolidation. Cox Enterprises once controlled a sprawling media empire, but today only owns the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Much of the multi-billion dollar company’s business today is in cable and support for the automotive industry.

Sandy Schwartz, president of Cox Automotive, visited the Dayton newsroom Monday and said Cox Enterprises made every decision — from selling the newspapers to keep them converged with WHIO-TV to buying them back to avoid going to three days a week — based on what they thought was best for the local community.

“We will invest in the newspapers but we want to support the community,” he said. “Our hope is to own this paper for a long, long, long time and to transition it into the new world because we believe in journalism and we believe in what it does for communities.”

Schwartz said there are no plans to eliminate local jobs. Dayton Daily News staff will stay in Dayton at 1611 S. Main Street but will move to a different floor of the building. Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News staff will stay at their current locations.

After the deal closes in coming weeks, the newspapers will operate separately and be owned by Cox Enterprises. WHIO-TV and the Ohio radio stations will be owned by Apollo, which is using the name Cox Media Group for its broadcast business.

“These newspapers are important assets to the communities they serve, and we are thrilled to have found a partner with a long and successful history of promoting freedom of the press and preserving print journalism,” said Cox Media Group CEO Kim Guthrie. “(Cox Enterprises) is the best possible partner for this sale to not only ensure continued daily print publication for the newspapers, but to also keep so many talented people doing what they do best — providing daily news coverage in our Ohio communities.”

News of the sale was well-received by people who had expressed concern about the newspapers’ fate. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley co-wrote an editorial in the USA Today in January expressing concern about Dayton losing a daily newspaper.

“Daytonians deserve in-depth local news coverage and I am so glad to see that the Dayton Daily News will continue to dig into important local stories every day,” Whaley said of the sale Monday. “Cox Enterprises has been a part of our community for many years, and going forward I hope they will work to find new, innovative ways to be responsive to Daytonians’ evolving need for thoughtful, comprehensive stories about everything going on in our community – good and bad.”

Ellis Jacobs is part of a local coalition of people who expressed concern about the Apollo deal’s impact on local journalism. He called the Cox Enterprises purchase “the best outcome that could have been hoped for under these circumstances.”

“I hope that Cox is in it for the long run because having a superb local newspaper is really important for the community,” he said.

Ownership rule forced sale 

In 2018, Cox Enterprises put most of its media outlets up for sale, including those in Ohio — WHIO-TV, the Dayton Daily News, the Springfield News-Sun and the Journal-News plus K99.1 FM, WHIO Radio and WZLR. Those Ohio businesses have operated as one entity for a decade and were long owned by Cox.

When Cox agreed to sell its media outlets to Apollo Global Management last year, FCC rules allowed one company to own TV stations and newspapers in the same market.

But in September 2019, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC’s rules were invalid, in effect prohibiting Apollo from owning WHIO-TV and the Dayton Daily News. In November, the FCC approved the Cox-Apollo sale, but it required Apollo to reduce the daily newspapers to three days or sell them.

David Sambur, co-lead partner of private equity at Apollo Global Management Inc., said “Apollo is committed to strengthening local media. When faced with the unfortunate requirements of an antiquated regulation, we would not accept an outcome that reduced local news coverage for the people of Dayton, Springfield and Butler County.”

Rob Rohr, who has served as publisher of the newspapers and market vice president of Cox Media Group Ohio, will stay with Cox Media Group and continue to lead WHIO-TV and the radio stations.

“I’m incredibly proud of the unique, multi-media business operation that our talented team built to serve our region over the last 10 years,” Rohr said. “As we look forward, we will carry the learnings and experiences we shared to support these businesses as they embark on separate but equally exciting and successful futures.

“We applaud the FCC for working with us and providing us the flexibility to find a stable, long-term buyer who is committed to providing the citizens of Ohio with award winning journalism.”

DISH customers could lose access to WHIO-TV Channel 7 programming.

WHIO-TV may be dropped by DISH within days.

As carriage has only been temporarily extended, Dayton viewers will lose live access to CBS programming and News Center 7 on DISH..

“We are simply seeking a fair deal, which adequately values the award-winning news, sports, entertainment, weather and traffic  programming that is paramount to our local viewers,” said Rob Rohr, WHIO-TV’s Vice President and General Manager.  “In fact, we are asking for far less than what DISH pays for national networks even though our ratings are much higher.  More importantly, those national networks offer no local news, provide no information about local school closings, have no local employees, and offer nowhere near the same high-quality, compelling programming that we provide,” continued Rohr.

WHIO-TV’s programming will remain available for viewers over the air, and this dispute will not affect customers of any other video provider.  “We have agreements with every other major cable and satellite distributor,” Rohr stated.

“It is unfortunate that DISH does not value our highly rated station and invaluable news coverage from News Center 7. Regardless, we will continue to offer the same high-quality programming as we always have, and we will continue to serve our community as we have done for decades.”

Direct Press Inquiries to:

Michelle Miguelez | VP, Communications and
Public Affairs

Cox Media Group | 6205-A
Peachtree Dunwoody Rd. | Atlanta,
GA 30328

Office: 678-645-0439 |
Cell:  (305) 450-2545 |  | Email: michelle.miguelez@cmg.com  - or - CMGMediaRelations@cmg.com

Legal Contact:

Alysia Long, VP and Associate General Counsel

Cox Media Group

alysia.long@cmg.com