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#161 Jim Kennedy $9.07B

Random fact: Worked as a reporter and copy editor for Cox Newspapers.


Kennedy is the chairman of Cox Enterprises, a closely held media and automotive services conglomerate. The Atlanta-based business controls the third-biggest cable operator in the U.S., which serves about 6 million homes and businesses. He owns almost 25 percent of the group, which had sales of $20.1 billion in 2016.

As of July 21, 2017:
Last change +$23.9M (+0.3%)
YTD change +$356M (+4.1%)
Industry Media & Telecom
Biggest asset Cox Communications
Citizenship United States
Age 61
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Jim Kennedy's net worth of $9.07B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Kennedy is a grandson of James Cox, who founded Cox Enterprises, a media conglomerate. He owns almost 25 percent of the company; his sister, Blair Parry-Okeden, owns an equivalent share. They inherited their stake from their mother, Barbara Cox Anthony. Three cousins collectively own 49 percent.

Cox Enterprises has three units: Cox Communications, Cox Media Group and Cox Automotive. Cable company Cox Communications is the third-largest cable operator in the U.S., according to the company's website. It had revenue of $11 billion in 2016, according to the website, and debt of $9.2 billion as of May 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company wouldn't comment on its debt. It's valued using the average enterprise value-to-Ebitda multiple of four publicly traded peer companies: Comcast, Verizon, Scripps Networks, and Rogers Communications.

Cox Media Group operates six daily newspapers, 14 television stations and more than 60 radio stations, among other assets, and had revenue of $1.8 billion in 2016, according to its website. Its valuation is based on the average enterprise value-to-Ebitda multiple of five publicly traded peers: EW Scripps, New York Times, Gannett, McClatchy and Sinclair Broadcast and discounted by 15 percent.

Cox Automotive is a provider of car sales software technology. It had revenue of $7.3 billion in 2016, according to its website. Cox Automotive is valued on the average enterprise value-to-Ebitda multiples of KAR Auction Services, CarMax and Penske Automotive.

Kennedy's 25 percent share of corporate-level debt is included as a liability.


Family: Married, No children
Education: 2003, Doctorate Degree, Kennesaw State University 1970, Bachelor's Degree, Business Administration, University of Denver

James Cox Kennedy is the grandson of James M. Cox, who founded Cox Enterprises after buying the Dayton Evening News in 1898. Cox became a politician, serving first as an Ohio state representative, then as governor. In 1920, he ran for the U.S. presidency as a Democrat, losing to fellow newspaper publisher Warren G. Harding.

Following his death in 1957, Cox's two daughters, Anne Cox Chambers and Barbara Cox Anthony -- Kennedy's mother -- took control of Cox Enterprises, which had diversified into television and radio. Chambers became the chairwoman of the company's Atlanta newspapers division, which owned the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Anthony's husband, James, took the top position in the company.

Kennedy began working at Cox Enterprises in 1972, two years after graduating from the University of Denver. He started out as a newspaper prouction assistant and worked his way up to general manager. In 1985, he was made vice president of Cox Newspapers. He was appointed chairman and CEO three years later. Today, Cox Enterprises operates dozens of print publications, television stations and radio stations as well as one of largest cable systems in the U.S. and multiple online auto marketing and data units.

In 2003, he and wife Sarah were named Philanthropists of the Year by the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Association for Fund-raising Professionals. He enjoys cycling and hunting on his family's conservation-protected property.

  • 1898 Grandfather James M. Cox buys the Dayton Evening News.
  • 1922 Mother, Barbara Blair Cox Anthony, is born in Ohio.
  • 1970 Graduates from the University of Denver with a degree in business.
  • 1972 Takes job at Cox Enterprises as a newspaper production assistant.
  • 1988 Appointed chairman and chief executive officer of Cox Enterprises.
  • 1995 Company spins off Cox Communications in an initial public offering.
  • 2004 Inducted into Georgia State's College Business Hall of Fame.
  • 2007 Mother, Barbara Cox Anthony, dies.