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Jay Leno's Role in Gannett Stock Downgrade

Wells Fargo Securities downgraded shares of Gannett Oct. 29 from "market perform" to "underperform." Why? Along with the familiar problems of a weak ad recovery and a decline in circulation, analysts also point to the negative impact of the "Jay Leno" show on Gannett's local TV affiliates.

Wells senior analysts John Janedis and Jaime Morris say they expect Gannett's broadcasting revenue will slow due to the weak ratings of the Jay Leno show, which now precedes news programming. Gannett's local NBC affiliates typically enjoy strong news ratings in their respective markets.

They lowered broadcast segment revenue estimates from an increase of 10.8% to an increase in 8.3%. Analysts also say that Gannett's newspaper advertising will fall 14% in 2010 after declining almost 30% this year.



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