It was a bruising trading session for publicly traded television companies, and the Mouse House may have them trapped in a downward spiral under the spell of nervous investors.
That’s because The Walt Disney Co. is reportedly set to cut 300 jobs from ABC, and O&O stations are a part of the downsizing plan.
As reported early Thursday by The Wall Street Journal, Disney is “preparing significant budget cuts at its Disney/ABC Television Group that will include staff reductions and restructurings.” The news organization cited “people familiar with the matter” as its source.
Job losses will be seen at the ABC broadcast network, ABC News, and at ABC O&Os across the U.S. Among ABC’s owned-and-operated stations is KTRK-13 in Houston, which has been among the exemplary local broadcasters providing continuing coverage of Hurricane Harvey and its flood-related damage for some 5 1/2 days.
A workforce reduction at the Disney Channel and Freeform (formerly ABC Family) is also anticipated, the Journal reports. An announcement is expected in late September, which coincidences with the end of Disney’s fiscal 2017.
At the Closing Bell, Disney shares were off 1.6%, to $101.20.
The potential job cuts at ABC are the likely cause of significant share decreases at some of the biggest broadcast TV companies. Sinclair Broadcast Group shares were off 3.8% to $30.25. Nexstar Media Group shares were down 3.99%, to $60.20.
Also down, but to a lesser extent, were The E.W. Scripps Co. (off 3%, to $17.88), and TEGNA (down 2.3%, to $12.62).
For a live look at what’s happening on Wall Street for the top media companies every business day, and for a full look at today’s closing prices, please visit the Wall Street Report on the homepage of RBR.com.