John Kent Cooke, son of the late Jack Kent Cooke, who had been involved in a number of joint newspaper ventures in Canada and once owned the Los Angeles Daily News, the Washington Redskings, as well as a group of community papers in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, has purchased thirteen North Carolina newspapers.
Previously owned by Cox Enterprises, of Cox Communications
empire fame, daily newspapers the Daily Reflector in Greenville, Rocky Mount Telegram and the Daily Advance in Elizabeth City as well as weeklies in Snow Hill, Williamston, Windsor and elsewhere have been purchased by Mr. Cooke for an undisclosed amount of money.
From The Wall Street Journal:
Cox Enterprises Inc. agreed to sell three of its North Carolina newspapers and 10 weekly newspapers in eastern North Carolina to Cooke Communications LLC, a privately held family company headed by John Kent Cooke.
Cooke expects to keep "virtually all" employees.
Cox, which also operates cable-television provider Cox Communications, TV stations and newspaper publisher Cox Media Group, has been seeking buyers for its smaller newspapers as the industry suffers declines in advertising and readers, who are turning to the Internet for news and entertainment.
The dailies Cox is selling to Cooke are the Daily Reflector in Greenville, Rocky Mount Telegram and the Daily Advance in Elizabeth City. The price was not disclosed.
"We're confident that the Cooke family will be excellent owners of these papers and continue to foster a strong commitment to the community and advertisers," said Doug Franklin, executive vice president, Cox Newspapers.
Cooke promised to continue the strong tradition of family-owned independent newspapers serving these communities. "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."
His oldest son, John Kent Cooke Jr., will move to the Greenville area to become president of Cooke Communications North Carolina and publisher of the Daily Reflector.