Donna B. Hall, a veteran of the news industry for three decades, was named publisher of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.
Hall, who has been vice president of marketing, radio and newspaper operations for Cox Media Group for the past year, has spent most of her career at the Atlanta-based company and will take the helm of the AJC immediately.
"This is an important day for all of us who care so much about The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the essential role our journalism plays in the community," Hall said. "I am proud and humbled by today's announcement. The return of a publisher role will bring focus back on the AJC's mission and financial longevity."
Hall’s promotion was one of several announcements Cox Enterprises made on Wednesday. Cox also announced it has sold its radio stations, which include top-rated WSB Radio and KISS 104, to Apollo Global Management.
Cox announced in February it was selling a majority stake in its TV stations to Apollo, an international investment firm with interests in retail, financial services, chemicals and hospitality. Cox Enterprises is the owner of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Hall was promoted to vice president of marketing, audience and newspaper operations for Cox Media Group (CMG) last June.
Hall was the vice president and market manager for Cox’s Atlanta radio stations. She also has been vice president of sales for Cox Media and senior vice president of marketing and audience development for CMG. She has a master’s in business administration from the University of Georgia.
Hall said her job will be to foster even deeper ties between the newspaper and the community that it serves as it becomes Cox's sole print product.
“I will concentrate on how our community will fund and sustain our in-depth local journalism long-term by delivering what matters most to our subscribers and advertisers,” she said in a statement to employees. “And my work on your behalf – and on behalf of those we serve - has already begun.
The 60 radio stations across 11 markets, including Oklahoma, Florida, Texas and New York, will be headquartered in Atlanta, officials said. Cox will maintain a minority stake in the company. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
The deal with Apollo also includes the purchase of CoxReps, a national broker and sales/data analyst for television stations, and digital marketer Gamut. All the acquisitions will retain the Cox Media Group name.
“We are happy our Cox Radio and national ad platforms will continue to be operated with our television group,” Alex Taylor, Cox Enterprises president and CEO, said in a statement. “Keeping these media businesses together gives us even more confidence in the future success of the new company.”
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Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC