Through the Years


1898 James M. Cox, a former schoolteacher and reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer, purchases the Dayton Evening News for $26,000.

1913 James Cox is elected governor of Ohio.

1934 Cox enters broadcasting with the establishment of WHIO in Dayton, Ohio, the first radio station in the Miami Valley.

1939 Cox enters the Atlanta market by acquiring The Atlanta Journal, which includes radio station WSB.

1957 James M. Cox Jr. (l.) succeeds Gov. Cox as head of the family business upon the death of his father.

1962 Cox enters the cable-television business with the purchase of systems in Lewiston, Lock Haven and Tyrone, Pa., followed by systems in California, Oregon and Washington.

1964 Cox Broadcasting Corp. is established as a public company, traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

1984 Cox Broadcasting becomes Cox Cable Communications Inc.

1986 Cox Cable begins selling pay-per-view services.

• James Robbins (r.) is named president of Cox Cable Communications.

1990 Cox Enterprises tops $2 billion in revenues for the first time.

1993 Cox and regional Bell operating company Southwestern Bell announce plans to merge.

1994 Cox and Southwestern Bell call off their planned merger.

• The MSO establishes a partnership with Times Mirror Co. to develop programming, resulting in the creation of Outdoor Life Network and SpeedVision.

1995 Cox acquires Times Mirror Cable Television, increasing the number of customers it serves from 1.9 million to 3.2 million.

• The company drops “cable” from its name, becoming Cox Communications.

1996 The MSO completes two systems swaps with Tele-Communications Inc. and U S West Media Group, representing a total of 697,000 customers. As a result, Cox expands the size of its clusters in Hampton Roads, Va.; New England; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; and Louisiana.

1997 Cox Digital Cable is launched in Orange County, Calif.

1998 Cox purchases the cable operations in Tucson, Ariz., and Las Vegas, making it the largest cable operator in the Southwest.

1999 Cox signs agreements to acquire a total of 2.16 million customers from Gannett, AT&T Broadband, TCA Cable and Media General, resulting in a total of nearly 6 million customers in 18 states.

2000 Cox Business Services is formally established.

• Based on its $3.5 billion in annual revenues, Cox becomes a Fortune 500 company for the first time.

2002 Cox launches high-definition TV service in Las Vegas and Phoenix.

• Cox launches video on demand in San Diego and Hampton Roads, Va.

2004 Cox Enterprises completes the purchase of the remaining shares in Cox Communications it does not already own, taking the cable company private on Dec. 3.

2005 CEO Robbins announces that he will retire at the end of the year. Chief operating officer Patrick Esser is named to replace Robbins as CEO. Cox Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Hayes will move to Cox Enterprises as president and chief operating officer by the end of the year.

2006 Patrick Esser (l.) becomes CEO of Cox Communications.

• Cox says telephony will be available across its entire footprint by the end of the year.

2007 Cox agrees to sell its 25% interest in Discovery Communications back to the programmer for $1.28 billion in cash and the Travel Channel.

• Cox reaches a deal with NBC Universal on a trial offer of select NBC primetime shows on demand in its Orange County and Palos Verdes, Calif., markets. The agreement is a precursor to Cox’s MyPrimetime TV on-demand offering.

• Ex-CEO Robbins (r.) dies on Oct. 10 after battlling skin cancer.

2008 Cox says it will build its own wireless voice network, offering a Cox-branded cellphone offering in 2009.

• Cox ends year with about 4 million high-speed Internet customers and more than 3 million telephone-access lines.

• Cox, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks form Canoe interactive-advertising joint venture; hire ad veteran David Verklin to run it.

2009 Cox hires Goldman Sachs to look into strategic opportunities for the Travel Channel, including a sale, after receiving offers of interest in the network.

• After about five years, Cox nears completion of its EON (Extendable Optical Network) upgrade project, boosting capacity in its systems to 1 Gigahertz.

• Cox says it will launch a multiroom digital video recorder product in an undisclosed market later this year, with additional markets to follow.