Newseum announces $6 million gift from Cox
WASHINGTON — The Newseum announced March 27 that Cox Enterprises Inc., one of the nation’s largest media companies and providers of automotive services, and the James M. Cox Foundation will give $6 million to sponsor an exhibit gallery celebrating the First Amendment at the museum scheduled to open this October in Washington, D.C.
The First Amendment Gallery at the Newseum will bear the company’s name in recognition of the gift, which will be paid to the museum in 2007 and 2008. The 1,700-square-foot gallery will feature films, artifacts and displays that will convey the history and the modern-day relevance of the five freedoms — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — guaranteed by the First Amendment.
“Everything we hold dear as a democratic society — including the basic concepts of personal freedom and open government — is protected by the First Amendment,” said Jimmy W. Hayes, Cox Enterprises president and chief operating officer. “On behalf of the more than 80,000 employees of Cox Enterprises, we’re honored to be able to make this gift. It’s our way of celebrating the First Amendment. It’s also our way of helping to keep a free press free.”
Based in Atlanta, Cox Enterprises is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James C. Kennedy, grandson of former Ohio governor and presidential candidate James M. Cox, who founded the company in 1898 with the purchase of the Dayton Evening (now Daily) News. Through his leadership and insight, the company broadened its base in newspapers and expanded into radio and television during the earliest days of both mediums. Today, Cox’s other major businesses include cable television, broadband telecommunications, and automotive-related services and e-commerce.
“The First Amendment experience is at the core of the Newseum mission,” said Newseum CEO Charles L. Overby. “This generous gift will aid us tremendously in communicating to our visitors the vitality and importance of the First Amendment and a free press.”
“Democracy can’t flourish without the First Amendment,” said Andy Alexander, Washington bureau chief for Cox Newspapers, a division of Cox Enterprises, and a member of the board of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE). “Whether in Washington or in communities across America, it ensures that the press is free to monitor the performance of government and to give voice to those who need to be heard. In a very real sense, the quality of life of our citizens is greatly improved by a strong First Amendment and the press that it protects.”
Cox Enterprises becomes the ninth founding partner of the Newseum, joining a consortium of media companies and families that includes The New York Times — Ochs-Sulzberger family; News Corporation; the Greenspun family of Las Vegas; NBC Universal; Time Warner; Hearst Corporation; ABC News/Walt Disney Company; and the Pulliam family. The Cox gift, announced today in Washington at the ASNE annual convention, brings to $59 million the total contribution of the founding partners to the $435 million project.
The Newseum is located next door to the Canadian Embassy and across Pennsylvania Avenue from the National Gallery of Art and the museums of the Smithsonian Institution.
About Cox Enterprises, Inc.
Cox Enterprises is one of the nation's leading media companies and providers of automotive services, with 2006 revenues of $13 billion and more than 80,000 employees. Major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications, Inc. (cable television distribution, telephone, high-speed Internet access and other advanced broadband services); Cox Newspapers, Inc. (newspapers, local and national direct mail advertising and customized newsletters); Cox Television (television and television sales rep firms); Cox Radio, Inc. (broadcast radio stations and interactive Web sites); Manheim (vehicle auctions, repair and certification services and web-based technology products) and Cox Auto Trader (automotive publications and a majority stake in AutoTrader.com).
About the Newseum
When it opens in October 2007, the Newseum — a 250,000-square-foot museum of news — will offer visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.
The Newseum will be located at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., on America’s Main Street between the White House and the U.S. Capitol and adjacent to the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall. The exterior’s unique architectural features include a 74-foot-high marble engraving of the First Amendment and an immense front wall of glass through which passers-by will be able to watch the museum fulfilling its mission of providing a forum where the media and the public can gain a better understanding of each other.
The Newseum will feature seven levels of galleries, theaters, retail spaces and visitor services. It will offer a unique environment that takes museum-goers behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made.
About the Freedom Forum
The Freedom Forum, based in Arlington, Va., is a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. The foundation focuses on three priorities: the Newseum, the First Amendment and newsroom diversity.
The Freedom Forum funds the operations of the Newseum, an interactive museum of news under construction in Washington, D.C.; the First Amendment Center; and the Diversity Institute. The First Amendment Center and the Diversity Institute are housed in the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. The First Amendment Center also has offices in Arlington and the Diversity Institute has offices and programs at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.
The Freedom Forum was established in 1991 under the direction of Founder Allen H. Neuharth as successor to a foundation started in 1935 by newspaper publisher Frank E. Gannett. The Freedom Forum is not affiliated with Gannett Co. Its work is supported by income from an endowment of diversified assets.
Susan Bennett, Newseum 703/284-3765
Bobby Amirshahi, Cox Enterprises 310/961-0273 (mobile), 678/645-4518 (office)