Shares in media companies recovered somewhat this week after taking a severe beating the week before. Over the past five days, the S&P 500 gained 2.3% to end at 1136.
With the first-quarter earnings season largely wrapped up, there were fewer significant news events to impact share prices in the media sphere. Media pundits continued to examine the prospects of Newsweek, after The Washington Post Co. hung a “For Sale” sign on the magazine on May 5.
The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, reported that billionaire investor Haim Saban, the man who brought Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers to the U.S., was among 70 prospective buyers kicking at Newsweek‘s tires.
The New York Observer also reported that Thomson Reuters, as well as Politico parent Allbritton Communications had expressed interest in the magazine. Washington Post shares gained 5.2% to end the week at $501.86.
Bill Keller, The New York Times‘ executive editor, announced today that the newspaper would start to charge for its online content in January 2010. A financial analysis site also said this week that The Wall Street Journal‘s “Greater New York” section, which competes with the Times for ad dollars and readership, could create a 15% downside in Times Co. shares. Shares 5.3% to $9.15.
Weekly stock results for Time Warner, Thomson Reuters, Playboy and more after the jump.
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes on Wednesday told CNBC that his company was seeing strong revenue growth in its television units. He said Time Inc., the company’s magazine-publishing business, was redefining itself as a digital-media outlet but was noncommittal about whether Time Warner would spin off the print segment. Shares climbed 1% on the week to $30.56.
Thomson Reuters, parent of Reuters, launched a video financial-news website, and its CEO, Thomas Glocer, reaffirmed the company’s expectation of rising revenue in the second half of 2010. Shares rose 4.4% to $37.71.
In a development unlikely to dramatically impact its share price, naked-lady-magazine publisher Playboy (PLA), announced it was unveiling a 3-D centerfold image for the June issue. Something helped the stock this week; it screamed 10% higher to $4.25.
Other stock results:
• Media General (MEG) up 9.8% at $13.12
• A. H. Belo (AHC) rose 3.2% at $8.36
Cablevision (CVC): down 1.1% to close the week at $24.39
News Corp. (NWSA) up 4.8% at $13.95.