Cox Newspapers May Team With CNN on Iraq Coverage

By: Joe Strupp

Cox Newspapers Inc. and CNN are negotiating an arrangement that would allow the cable network to use some of Cox’s military embedding slots in Iraq in exchange for newspaper content from CNN reporters or editors.

Several Cox editors in Washington, D.C., confirmed Thursday that editors at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cox’s flagship paper, were finalizing the agreement with CNN, which could be completed by today.

“That is the [potential] arrangement,” said Andy Alexander, Cox?s Washington bureau chief. “We had some slots that we were not going to fill and CNN felt they could fill them and theJournal-Constitution felt they could get something in return in terms of copy.”

A CNN spokesperson did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Journal-Constitution Editor Julia Wallace could not be reached for comment Thursday, while other editors at the paper declined to comment on the story, stressing that no deal had yet been completed.

The Pentagon has assigned during the past week more than 500 slots to print and broadcast news organizations, who will embed reporters with units from all four major branches of the U.S. military heading to Iraq. The number of slots for each organization is based on different criteria, ranging from its scope of coverage to its audience reach, military officials said.

Cox Newspapers Washington bureau received five slots, according to editors, while the Journal-Constitution received an additional three. Chuck Holmes, Cox foreign editor, said the newspaper chain is expected to use at least four of the eight overall slots for reporters from different papers, freeing up four slots for a possible trade to CNN.

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