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WSJ Targets NYT’s Luxury Advertisers; NYTCo Stock Hits New Low On Ad Worries

The increasingly Murdochized WSJ has been aggressively trying to lure NYT’s luxury advertisers in much the same way the financial newspaper has been trying to broaden its coverage to grab its rivals general news readership. For example, high-end retailer and long-time NYT ad client Saks Inc. has recently been promoting a new Chanel boutique and men’s suit sale in WSJ, Milton Pedraza, CEO of market researcher Luxury Institute, points out to Bloomberg. WSJ is definitely taking away luxury ad dollars from the NYT, both on the print and digital sides, Pedraza told me. Although luxury marketers are shifting more of their declining overall ad spend online, the fight over the category will become more intense he expects.

Another body blow: The fact that WSJ is invading territory that NYT once had mostly to itself is another difficult blow for the newspaper company. It’s already been a rough week for NYTCo (NYSE: NYT), which was forced to trim its dividend significantly. Also, on Friday afternoon, NYTCo’s stock was down nearly 12 percent to just above $5.10, which Marketwatch noted was new low. The dividend cut was a taken as a sign that the company saw no turnaround in the increasingly challenging ad market anytime soon.

List of shame: NYTCo’s stock is now seventh on a “list of shame” that ranks S&P 500 stocks trading at or below book value, Fitz&Jen report, citing Zachs Investment Research analyst Charles Rotblut’s ranking. The dubious distinction applies to companies that Zachs rates as a “buy” — as the NYTCo is — or “strong buy.” Rotblut says NYTCo’s multiple is trading slightly above book value at $1.03.