The paidContent 50: The Most Successful Digital Media Companies In The U.S.

14. Cox Enterprises

Cox Enterprises

U.S. 2010 digital revenue: $830 million

Snapshot: Cox Enterprises’ best-known digital property is the hugely successful AutoTrader.com, which expects to post more than $1 billion in sales in 2011 and is frequently mentioned as a possible IPO candidate. But Cox Enterprises also owns websites corresponding to its local TV stations and newspapers. The company sold a 25 percent stake in AutoTrader to PE firm Providence Equity for an undisclosed amount in 2010.

Key digital move in 2010: The company’s most notable digital expansion occurred nearly three years ago when it acquired vertical ad network builder Adify, through its subsidiary Cox TMI. In early 2011, the Adify brand faded away as Cox decided to combine it with the digital arm of Cox Cross Media in order to reduce “redundancies.”

How we generated our estimate: AutoTrader’s sales were $720 million in 2010; Outsell estimates online sales at Cox’s Media Group, which includes its local newspaper websites, were $102 million in 2009. We adjusted that figure to account for the overall growth in display advertising last year.