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Media in Chaos - WPRO’s Parent Co. Stock Plummeting, NYT Print Rev Down 19%, and More

Thursday, November 03, 2016


It should be the best of times for media companies — an improving economy, highly contested presidential and congressional races, but instead it is a period of financial chaos for many of America’s largest media companies.

The company that maybe taking the worst financial beating is WPRO’s parent company Cumulus media. The stock in October did a reverse 8 for 1 stock split to keep from being delisted by NASDAQ, but less than a month later the stock is collapsing. 

Read the details of Cumulus, the New York Times, and more about media below.


Related Slideshow: Media in Chaos - Implications for Rhode Island, November 2016

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Cumulus Stock Free Fall

Cumulus stock is tanking. Since October 13, the stock has plummeted from $2.40 a share and on Wednesday, November 2, the stock closed at just a $1.05. The stock lost over 21% just on Wednesday. 

In total, the stock has dropped more than 58% in just three weeks.

On October 12, Cumulus Media (the parent company of WPRO, Lite 105 and Hot 106) completed a reverse stock split to keep the comany from being delisted from NASDAQ. "... every 8 shares of each class of Cumulus common stock will be converted into 1 share of the same class of such common stock," announced the company. 

While the Providence cluster performs well in comparison to the radio groups bigger markets, it has taken a bit of a rating hit in the afternoons on WPRO AM since Buddy Cianci died.

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NYT Print Ad Revenue Fell 19% for the YOY in Q3

Falling off the table may be the only way to describe the decline of print revenue.

"New York Times Co. said its third-quarter earnings fell sharply as print advertising dropped 19%, the latest publisher to signal that spending on newspaper ads is drying up even further," reports the Wall St. Journal

Overall, the combo of print and digital together 7.7% in the third quarter, and the NYT expects the fourth quarter decline to be equally grim.

Most of the mobile ad revenue growth was in digital.

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ABC News Byron Pitts to Headline Forum on Race and Media

The Southern New England Association of Black Journalists presents its 3rd Annual Forum on Race and Media on Saturday, December 3, 4 p.m. at the George Houston Bass Auditorium in the Rites and Reason Theater on the Brown University campus. Reserved seating only. 

Panelists from print, broadcast and online publications are among the panelists. SNEABJ is an award winning affiliate of the National Association. of Black Journalists.

To reserve your seat email us at [email protected].

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Thomson Reuters Announced 2,000 staff cuts

Business information company, Thomson Reuters is slashing jobs globally -- about 5 percent of its work force.

For the company that operates Reuters and self-describes as "the world’s leading source of news and information for professional markets" the cuts are significant.

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Wall St. Journal Announces Staff Cuts and Smaller Paper

The news at the WSJ is not much better. Despite an improved economy, the paper announced that it is slicing staff, combining sections and shrinking the print version.

According to the WSJ, Editor in chief Gerard Baker announced the changes to staff in a memo Wednesday, "the paper will feature fewer pages with less space dedicated to coverage of arts, culture and New York news.

“All newspapers face structural challenges and we must move to create a print edition that can stand on a sound financial footing for the foreseeable future while our digital horizons continue to expand,” Baker wrote in the memo.

For the last quarter, News Corp said reported advertising revenue at the Journal fell 12% from the same quarter a year earlier.

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Gannett Could Not Get Bank Financing to Acquire Tronc (Tribune)

Media financial guru Ken Doctor has been the leading analyst on the on again and off again deal. He writes this week:

According to a number of reports, the group of lenders that Gannett had assembled to help finance the acquisition got cold feet and refused to sign off on the arrangement. The proposed offer was 150% more than Tronc was trading for before the first bid was tabled.

Since it launched the original offer, Gannett’s stock price  GCI -0.53%  has lost more than 50% of its value, as investors voted with their feet on the chain’s proposed merger.


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