Gannett Stock Hits New 52-Week Low as Entire Newspaper Sector Sinks

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Stock of Gannett Co. Inc. scrapped a new 52-week low Friday as a slumping Dow dragged down nearly the entire newspaper sector.

On a day when many newspaper executives were leaving town for the joint convention of publishers, editors, and production managers in Washington, D.C., Wall Street gave media companies a rude shove to get going.

Gannett (NYSE: GCI) closed at $27.62, down 97 cents, or 3.9%. It had previously traded in a 52-week range of $27.77 to $61.68.

The McClatchy Co. (NYSE: MNI), the nation’s third-largest newspaper publisher, ended down 4.53% on the day, trading off 47 cents to $9.92.

Investors hammered down troubled Journal Register Co. (NYSE: JRC), which had been slowly rebounding from its historic low of 16 cents last week. The stock closed at 26 cents, off 2 cents, or 5.36% on volume of about 1.4 million shares — nearly triple its usual daily trading.

New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) stock fell on news that RiskMetrics proxy advisor unit, Institutional Shareholders Services, recommended withhold votes for three directors who serve on the company’s compensation committee. The unwelcome recommendation upset the Times Co.’s plans for a smooth election of directors after making peace with dissident stockholders Harbinger Capital Partners and Firebrand Investments.

Times stock ended the day at $19.06, down 60 cents, or 3.05%.

Lee Enterprises, GateHouse Media Inc., and Sun-Times Media Group were all also losers on the day. The only exception to the down day was A.H. Belo (NYSE: AHC), which ended unchanged at $10.41.

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