No Sale: Walter Hussman Won’t Be Buying the Austin-American Statesman — Or Anyone Else, for That Matter

Remember last week when we told you how all those newspaper big-shots — including Arkansas Democrat-Gazette publisher Walter Hussman — were kicking the tires on Cox Enterprises’ Austin-American Statesman newspaper?

Well, no deal! For anyone! Cox is taking it off the block.

Poynter has the memo to employees:

TO: Employees of the Austin American-Statesman
FROM: Michael Vivio, Publisher, Austin American-Statesman
SUBJECT: The Austin American-Statesman No Longer For Sale

I am pleased to announce that the Austin American-Statesman is no longer for sale and will remain part of Cox Enterprises. Since Cox announced its intent to sell the paper in August 2008, the Statesman received substantial interest from potential buyers. However, Cox did not feel that the offers reflected the true value of the Statesman.

The Longview News-Journal, The Marshall News Messenger and their associated publications remain for sale, and I will continue to keep you updated on the sales process.

Read the full memo here.

So why did the company take the newspaper off the block? The newspaper itself reports that Cox felt that “offers it had received did not reflect the value of the company.”

“Cox Enterprises said from the beginning that it would not preside over a fire sale,” Statesman publisher Michael Vivio said Thursday. “This is a profitable company, and it just did not make sense to sell it for the prices offered.”


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