Dow Jones Seen Leading Newspaper Sector

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By: E&P Staff

While analysts at Merrill Lynch continue to see challenging times ahead for newspapers, the firm said the industry is “fighting back” and is calling for 2.5% to 3% ad reveune growth in the fourth quarter of 2003.

The research company recently raised its 2004 projections to 4.5% from 4% and looks for Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones to lead the pack this year, according to Forbes.com.

Merrill said Dow Jones “has the best operating leverage among the companies we follow” and believes it will report “well above average” growth this year. Merrill also cited Tribune Co. and Gannett for strong performance in 2004.

Knight Ridder and The New York Times Co. were singled out by Merrill for underperformance.

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