Big Media, Cable Hurt in Stock-Market Dive

Stock market gives back Friday's gain but many broadcasters relatively unscathed.

As many broadcasters escaped the worst of the downdraft, the stock market took another tumble Monday, giving back Friday’s gain and continuing the see-saw volatility that stretches back to Sept. 15.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 372.75 points to close at 11,015.69. That’s a steep 3.27% drop versus Friday’s 3.35% gain.

On Monday, the price tag of the federal-government bailout of U.S. credit markets spooked investors and led to a spike in oil prices, since the bailout looks to weaken the U.S. dollar, in which oil contracts are denominated.

Big-capitalization media/entertainment stocks were hard-hit. Rupert Murdoch-led News Corp., parent of Fox Broadcasting, declined 6.8%. Time Warner dropped 4.5% and Disney fell 4.3%.

Stocks that are interest-rate-sensitive got punished, including cable-system operators that carry heavy debt loads. Cablevision Systems fell 6.4%, Comcast class A dropped 4.0 and Time Warner Cable slipped 3.7%.

Basic-cable-network operators, which shoulder less debt, declined to a lesser extent, such as Crown Media, parent of Hallmark Channel, which was off just 0.38%.

In broadcasting, Nexstar Broadcasting Group actually rose 2.7% and CBS fell just 1.9%. However, Entravision Communications’ 9.9% plunge and Gray Television’s 5.4% decline exceeded those of the broad stock market.