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Has Trump's Negativity On The Media Impacted Those Stocks?

Has Trump's Negativity On The Media Impacted Those Stocks?

Since the days leading up to the election, President Donald Trump has had a lot to say about big-brand news.

On January 8, after reports clarified border-wall financing, Trump tweeted that the media was “dishonest” and “fake.” On January 11, he called Buzzfeed a “pile of garbage” for releasing an uninvestigated document. The same day, he targeted two other major networks.

@realDonaldTrump tweeted, “Just watched @NBCNightlyNews - so biased, inaccurate and bad, point after point. Just can’t get much worse, although @CNN is right up there!”

Bad Press Is Good News For Media

But the industry seems impervious to the president’s claims. Its stocks — unlike those of pharmaceuticals or automotive companies — are unmoved by Trump’s shout-outs, and subscription growth actually improves on negative remarks.

For example, new subscriptions of Vanity Fair allegedly jumped 100 fold after Trump tweeted that the publication had “really poor numbers” and was “way down, big trouble, dead.” According to Condé Nast, the attention immediately inspired more than 1.3 million article views and secured nearly 10,000 new Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) followers for Vanity Fair.

In an ironic turn, the president’s condemnation actually bolstered business for the otherwise struggling publication.

Here’s a look at how other censure targets have performed in the last three months:

The National Scapegoats

New York Times Co (NYSE: NYT) experienced a tenfold subscription growth after the election, according to CNBC. Shares hit a three-year low of $10.80 November 3 but have since rallied to $13.30.

Gannett Co Inc (NYSE: GCI), which will release quarterly circulation figures February 9, saw its shares jump from $7.47 to $9.71 around the election and remain steady since. Former Gannett owner Tegna Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) has maintained a similar runoff a post-election pop of 28 percent. Shares now rest at $22.49.

Shares of Thomson Reuters Corp (NYSE: TRI) spiked in November and have steadily risen since. Shares now rest at $45.12 — about a dollar short of the company’s all-time high. Subscription growth will be detailed in the fourth-quarter report to be released in the coming weeks.

The Local Effect

McClatchy Co (NYSE: MNI) owns a range of local publications from the East Coast's Miami Herald to the West Coast's Sacramento Bee. Its shares popped 17.5 percent in the days following the election but quickly tapered off and continued a longstanding trend of depreciation. The stock is now valued at $11.95.

Tronc., Inc. (NASDAQ: TRNC) — formerly Tribune Publishing Company — includes regional publications from the Chicago Tribune to the Baltimore Sun. Corporate shares saw a marginal spike during election week and have maintained a $12 to $13 value since.

On The Air

Gray Television, Inc. (NYSE: GTN) runs more than 100 local affiliates for major network broadcasters, including CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX. Since the election, shares have rocketed from $7.35 on November 8 to a six-month high of $11.85.

The television companies of Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc (NASDAQ: SBGI) have seen similar success. Shares have risen 37 percent since November.

After hitting a three-year low of $12.62 Nov. 4, E. W. Scripps Co (NYSE: SSP) shares have ridden the post-election wave to a relative peak of $19.36.

Most publicly traded media companies will release quarterly reports and subscription trends early to mid-February. The readership and viewership figures will lend additional insight into the early effects of Trump’s positions on media performance.

Image Credit: By Voice of America [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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