A Day Worth Forgetting On Wall Street


With circuit breakers triggered within the first 15 minutes of trading on Monday as worried investors initiated a massive sell-off of stocks, the Dow Industrials ended the day down 12.9%, finishing at 20,188.52. Nasdaq was off 12.3%, to 6,904.59.

How bad was the trading session for media companies?

Don’t ask David Field.

The company he leads, Entercom Communications, saw its shares plunge by 24.3% to $1.78, only to fall to $1.7035 in early after-hours trading on the NYSE.

It was June 2009, at the peak of the Great Recession, when Entercom shares were last at this price.

Similarly scary closing prices were seen for a variety of media companies. ViacomCBS is at $13.61, falling 17%, while Cumulus Media is at $5.95, down 6.9%.

Then, there is iHeartMedia, off 26.8% to $7.61.

But, perhaps the biggest stock value dip seen by media companies involves Nexstar Media Group. The TV company led by Perry Sook now has a stock price of $62.77, dropping 18.3% from Friday.

Live events — and sporting events — scrubbed due to COVID-19 virus concerns are the likely reason for the sharp declines in value. Entercom, ViacomCBS and Nexstar are heavily exposed in the sports arena; iHeartMedia is being punished for its exposure in high-profile music events and festivals.

Even Townsquare Media, which reported strong Q4 earnings early Monday, couldn’t evade a 15% drop in value of its stock, to $4.01.

Townsquare’s live events arm has already taken a hit, but it is much smaller than in the past. And, Townsquare’s programmatic arm is showing no signs of weakness even as COVID-19 cases continue to escalate in many of its Northeast markets.