Cox Enterprises Inc., the company that owns the Palm Beach Post , is reorganizing to bring all of its media business together under a new entity called Cox Media Group. Doug Franklin, the publisher at the Post, is headed to Atlanta to lead the new newspaper division, which includes 17 daily newspapers (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Austin American-Statesman among them, and several weeklies.
Taking his place as publisher at the Post will be Alex Taylor, who currently helms the Colorado Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction.
Franklin, as immediately feared when he took the job on May 1, oversaw hundreds of job cuts during what he calls his "short, tumultuous run" as publisher at the Post. He also presided over an agreement to share content with the Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald and, most recently, inked a deal to allow the Sun-Sentinel to print and distribute the Post.
Here's Franklin's announcement this morning to Post staff (thanks to a commenter who posted it below):
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Today, Cox Enterprises is announcing it is bringing together its TV, radio and newspaper businesses under one umbrella group named Cox Media Group. Sandy Schwartz will lead the new group and Sandy has asked me to lead the newspaper group. As part of the transition, I am pleased to announce we are appointing Alex Taylor, currently publisher of Grand Junction, Colorado Daily Sentinel, to succeed me here at PBNI. Alex will begin in his new role here at the beginning of the year and I will begin work at CEI in Atlanta. Sandy will be sending out an e-mail later this morning with further details.
This announcement is somewhat of a surprise to many of us, including me, considering my short tenure here at PBNI. We have talked about the rapid changes we must make to adapt to the new realities of our business which includes management changes from time to time.
Two important points--first and foremost, you will be getting an outstanding publisher in Alex Taylor. Alex's passion for our business, employees and journalism is unmatched. I am confident you will enjoy his leadership. Secondly, Alex will report to me and both of us will work hard to make a seamless transition and remain on course to turnaround PBNI.
Alex comes to the company at an important juncture in our rebuilding efforts. Many difficult decisions had to be made this year to position the company for future success. Now that these major efforts have been implemented we can focus more effectively on growing our digital and niche business while reinvigorating our print newspapers.
Next year you will hear about more exciting efforts to engage you in teamwork, communication, product development, marketing and sales. We are truly becoming a sales and content company. You along with Alex will help shape our future.
Make no mistake about it, we are in the midst of the most difficult period for newspapers ever and next year appears to be equally challenging for our economy and advertising sales. We will have to remain nimble, flexible and creative to achieve our goals. I am confident you are up for the challenge.
Lastly, my personal thanks to all of you for the kindness, respect and support I have received. This was a short, tumultuous run and I am impressed with your resiliency, graciousness and professionalism throughout this year. Thank you for your outstanding work and I know Alex will enjoy the same support.
The Palm Beach Post
Palm Beach Daily News