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FCC grants 60-day extension for sale of Cox Media's Ohio newspapers

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission approved a 60-day extension for Cox Enterprises Inc.'s Cox Media Group to sell Ohio newspapers.

Cox Media and private equity funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management Inc., which recently acquired the U.S. media company's assets, will have until March 16 to adhere to the reduced publication schedule and to complete a sale of its Ohio newspapers to a party who is not obligated to modify the newspapers' publication schedule. Cox Media Group previously had until Jan. 16 to reduce the newspapers' publication from a daily print schedule to three days a week in order to comply with a recent federal court ruling.

The necessary moves come as the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals revived a rule to prohibit an owner from operating both a daily newspaper and a broadcast station in the same market. The ruling took effect after Apollo and Cox Media's deal agreement.

The FCC's appeal against the court's decision was denied and obligates Cox Media to agree to reduce the publication of the Ohio newspapers to three days a week for the U.S. agency to agree to Cox Media's transaction.