Of course when FTVLive FIRST broke the news that Cox was putting their stations up for sale, the talk started up that Sinclair might be looking to buy them.
I don't think that will happened and I will tell you why.
Unlike other media groups, Cox is privately owned and does not answer to shareholders. A company like Tribune or Nexstar, pretty much has to do what the shareholders want and is in their best interest.
Cox is private and they can do what they want.
So, if (and that is a big if) Sinclair says they want to buy the Cox stations, Cox can tell them, "thanks but no thanks." And that is what I fully expect that is what they do.
Now maybe, Sinclair could throw enough money at Cox that they will say, "yes" but again, I doubt it.
Cox is one of the last few media groups that still cares about Journalism and covering the news fairly. The idea that they would sell off to a group like Sinclair that cares more about pushing their political agenda, then fair news coverage is a far reach.
I really think that if and when Cox sells, they are going to want their stations in good hands. Many of their stations are number 1 in their respective markets. My bet is they don't want to sell their stations and watch them flounder.
So, who might Cox sell their stations to?
Look for Meredith to make a play for some of the Cox stations. I'm not sure that Meredith can afford all of them, but I would not be surprised to see them buy some of them.
Look for Soo Kim's newly launched media company Standard Media make a play for Cox.
I also would not be surprised in the O&O's go after some of the stations.
I could see NBC going for WPXI in Pittsburgh. A good station in an NFL market. ABC might do the same with WSB in Atlanta for the same reasons. CBS might want KIRO in Seattle for the same reason. CBS might also be interested in the Cox CBS station in Jacksonville and Fox might be have their eyes set of the Cox/Fox station in Jacksonville.In other words, maybe the Jacksonville Duop could be broken up into two, which would be a huge win for viewers.
Fox also might want to get back the Cox station in Boston. I station they gave up in a trade with Cox for their station in San Francisco.
Cox has a lot of top rated stations in NFL markets. That is something the O&O's would be very interested in.
So, before everyone at the Cox stations think that this is the end of a great run, I say don't throw in the towel just yet.
I really believe that Cox will not just chase the money and that they still care about what happens to their stations when it changes hands.
That's why I don't think you will see Cox sell off to a bottom feeder and because they are privately owned, they just don't have to.
Stay tuned and don't buy into the doom of gloom that many think may happen to the Cox stations.