Cox Mulls Travel Channel Options

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Cox Communications has hired Goldman Sachs & Co. as an adviser to help it evaluate strategic alternatives for the Travel Channel, including joint ventures and a possible sale.
Cox, which acquired the Travel Channel in 2007 after it restructured its Discovery Communications partnership - it received cash and the channel in return for its 25% interest in Discovery - said in a statement that it had received "unsolicited inquiries" regarding the channel.
In a statement, Cox said that no decision has been made regarding the Travel Channel, adding that its options include "maintaining the current structure to joint ventures and other potential structures."

The network will be without president and general manager Patrick Younge, who has headed the service since 2005, come January, when he is slated to return to London for familial reasons.

"Travel Channel has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cox Communications since May 2007," Cox CEO Patrick Esser said in a statement. "In that time, it has made significant contributions to our business. Travel Channel has continued to evolve as a successful and high-value business, delivering record ratings growth, broader audience reach and increased brand awareness in the marketplace."
While it was not revealed what companies expressed interest in the Travel Channel, possible suitors could include Time Warner Inc., Scripps Networks Interactive, NBC Universal, Viacom and CBS. The channel, which was valued between $800 million and $1.1 billion when Cox first made the deal back in 2007, is worth between $600 million and $700 million today, according to some published reports.

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