NYT ad sales drop 16%; dividend cut possible

[Red zone: Newspaper stocks fell today on NYT news]

In the run-up to Gannett’s third-quarter earnings release tomorrow, the New York Times Co. said today that advertising sales at its newspapers and websites slid 16% in the third quarter — the most since at least 2001. September newspaper ad sales fell 14%, Bloomberg News says.

The NYT’s announcement helped drive down newspaper publisher stocks overall. GCI recently traded for $8.98 a share, down 3.5%. (See chart screenshot, listing major industry stocks, above.)

The No. 3 newspaper publisher also said it will consider cutting its dividend, “to determine what is most prudent in light of the overall market conditions. Such a cut would be significant to Gannett investors because the NYT’s dividend yield is already much lower than GCI’s: 8.8% vs. nearly 18%.

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