Cox Media Group, owner of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other major outlets, is planning roughly 87 layoffs at its campuses in the Dunwoody and Sandy Springs sections of Perimeter Center.
The layoffs are reportedly management-level and will not affect the AJC newsroom, which is at the Dunwoody site. That property has a redevelopment plan in the works, but the layoffs apparently are not related to any major real estate changes. The company employs thousands, so the number of layoffs is relatively small.
As reported by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Cox Media Group on Aug. 29 filed a notice about the planned layoffs with the Georgia Department of Labor. The filing says the company is “transitioning its facilities” at 223 Perimeter Center Parkway in Dunwoody and 6205 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road in Sandy Springs.
Spokespersons for Cox Media Group and the Department of Labor could not immediately be reached for comment. However, a source inside Cox said that it appears the layoffs are corporate management jobs being eliminated as part of a recent shake-up. Parent company Cox Enterprises this year sold most of its media empire – including the flagship WSB TV and radio stations, but not the AJC – to a new company that is retaining the Cox Media Group name and using some of the same offices. Cox Enterprises continues to have a stake in the business.
The source said that the layoffs were not a surprise and that they are “not expected to impact the [AJC] newsroom.”
Still up in the air is the long-term home for that newsroom, which moved from downtown Atlanta to Dunwoody in 2010. A plan to move the AJC back to Atlanta and merge it with WSB fell apart when Cox abruptly shifted course to sell most of its media holdings. Cox Media Group has a short-term lease at the Dunwoody site, as a developer has plans to remake the whole block as gigantic mixed-use project called High Street. After a delay to be part of the state’s unsuccessful bid for Amazon’s second corporate headquarters, High Street appears to be back on the development track.
Meanwhile, the source said, employees from WSB’s new owners are moving into the Dunwoody site and the company is making improvements to the building, despite the High Street plan, which would involve demolishing the tower.