After Dow Drubbing, Newspaper Stocks Stay Down Wednesday

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

After riding the broader market slide Tuesday that sent the Dow Jones average down 416 points, newspaper stock prices stayed depressed through midday trading Wednesday.

E.W. Scripps was pushed down 2.2% early in the trading day on news that it was cutting its first-quarter earnings forecast on greater-than-expected weakness in its newspaper business. At midday the stock rebounded slightly but was still down 76 cents, or 1.64%, from its opening to $45.99.

Even when there was no news, Wall Street pressured share prices lower across nearly the entire newspaper sector.

Lee Enterprises was down 69 cents, or 2.11%, in midday trading at $32.06.

Gannett was off 61 cents to $61.20.

The McClatchy Co., which has been one of the sector’s biggest share-price losers since the Street soured on its acquisition of Knight Ridder, was down 34 cents or 0.91% to $37.11. McClatchy stock remained in the low side of its 52-week trading range of $36.95 – $56.34.

Tribune Co., which released no news on its reportedly troubled auction process, was a rare gainer on the day, up 2 cents in midday trading to $29.96.

Belo Corp. was down 8 cents to $18.64. The Dallas-based newspaper and broadcast company said Wednesday it was discontinuing monthly financial and statistical reports.

Community newspaper publisher GateHouse Media was down 12 cents to $19.29 in midday trading.

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