Austin American-Statesman Takes Down The "For Sale" Sign

About a year ago, Cox Enterprises, the media company that owns the Austin American-Statesman, put the paper up for sale.

Today they took it back, saying they will keep the thing because this whole print phenomenon still has legs, dammit.

Or maybe they just didn't get any good offers. Publisher Michael Vivio sent a memo to the staff:

I am pleased to announce that the Austin American-Statesman is no longer for sale and will remain part of Cox Enterprises.

Since Cox announced its intent to sell the paper in August 2008, the Statesman received substantial interest from potential buyers. However, Cox did not feel that the offers reflected the true value of the Statesman.

What, no one wants to buy a daily paper these days?

Vivio did not say anything in the memo about Cox needing to slash costs in order to keep the paper, so maybe Statesman staffers can breathe a momentary sigh of relief.

On the other hand, if your owner wanted to get rid of you but couldn't....

Cox has sold its Waco paper, and still plans to sell the Longview and Marshall papers it owns.

Vivio told the paper's blog that Cox was determined "that it would not preside over a fire sale. This is a profitable company, and it just did not make sense to sell it for the prices offered."

He told the staff: "You have done a great job since Cox's initial announcement of its intention to sell the Statesman, and you continue to play a critical role. With this announcement, we can return to business as usual and continue to be the primary source of news and information for our community."

Well, let's hope so.

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