Journalism just not fueling the corporate mission? Try the dude who runs your used car division! They’re lucky on the Plantatation to have such amazing, uh, spare parts lying around.
Here’s the genuine, hardly-driven, internal Cox memo announcing the ousting of Jay Smith from Cox Newspapers in favor of Sandy Schwartz from their AutoTrader division. Vroom on, Cox, vroom on:
From: ! Hayes, Jimmy (CEI-Atlanta)
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 8:05 AM
Subject: Important Organizational Announcement
After 37 years of distinguished service with Cox Newspapers, Jay Smith has announced his decision to retire on May 1. Succeeding Jay will be Sandy Schwartz who will become president of Cox Newspapers while retaining his current position as president of Cox Auto Trader. Over the next few months, Jay will work closely with Sandy and with Brian Cooper, executive vice president of Cox Newspapers, to ensure a smooth transition. Jay has done a tremendous job of leading Cox Newspapers aggressively through a number of transformations to respond to a rapidly evolving media environment, and Cox is grateful for his talent, courage, leadership and dedication. In 1971, he joined Cox as a reporter for the Dayton Daily News , where he also worked as assistant city editor, assistant managing editor, business manager and eventually, publisher. He spent seven years as publisher of the Atlanta newspapers, and also headed the Austin American-Statesman. In 1994 he was named president of Cox Newspapers. Jay leaves behind an impressive tradition of excellence in newspaper publishing and is past chairman of the board for the Newspaper Association of America. He also serves as a board member of the Associated Press. As the newspaper landscape continues to shift rapidly, Sandy is uniquely positioned to meet the challenge head on as our business evolves. Eighteen of Sandy’s 23 years with the company have been with Cox Newspapers. He joined Cox in 1985 as a features editor of the Tribune Newspapers in Mesa, Arizona and rose through the ranks to become editor and was later named president and publisher in 1995. He then served as vice president and general manager at both The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Austin-American Statesman, and later as executive vice president of Cox Newspapers. Since 2003, he has complemented his print journalism background with significant digital media experience, first serving as vice president of business development for Cox Enterprises, from 2003-2006, and then moving to his current role, leading AutoTrader.com, AutoTrader Publishing, and Auto Mart. While we are ever appreciative of Jay’s years of service and the unparalleled standard he has set for the industry, Sandy’s experience and success at Cox during times of unprecedented change make him a natural fit to ensure that Cox Newspapers continues to deliver the quality content to readers when, where, and how they want it. Our company is graced with many who share a commitment to the Cox Values, our employees, audiences, shareholders and the communities we serve – and you would be pressed to find better examples of leaders than Jay and Sandy. I know you will join me in wishing Jay all the best on his retirement, which I know will be filled with friends, family and his first grandchild this summer. Please join me too in congratulating Sandy and in giving him your full support on his new responsibilities.