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Gannett Shares Fall On Fears Of Dubow’s Medical Leave; More Layoffs Coming?

imageGannett’s stock has taken a bit of hit this week, as investors appeared to be concerned about CEO Craig Dubow’s medical leave. The stock finished down 4.16 percent to $3.69. At one point on Thursday, Dow Jones Newswires pointed to a 7.3-percent slide for Gannett (NYSE: GCI) shares, adding that since Dubow became CEO in 1995, the McLean, Va.-based publisher’s stock has fallen 95 percent. On Monday, Gannett announced Dubow would go on temporary medical leave to recuperate from back surgery. EVP/CFO Gracia Martore will assume his duties. Since that announcement, Gannett’s stock has lost about 10 percent of its value. In the meantime, Jim Hopkins’ Gannett Blog cited an unnamed source as saying that Martore will eliminate 4,500 jobs across the board on July 8. A Gannett spokesperson did not return calls for comment. A Gannett rep said that the company doesn’t comment on rumors, however, “We have been doing job-related actions for some time, we are doing them and we will continue doing them as long as the economy remains difficult.” More after the jump

Hopkins also hears that the broadcast division will be asked to take a 10 percent wage cut, in addition to absorbing layoffs. On the plus side, Gannett does not expect to issue any further calls for furloughs for the rest of the year. In January, Gannett first commanded its 40,000-person workforce to take a week off without pay. In October, Gannett said it was laying off about 3,000 staffers at its 80 local papers across the country; two months before that, the publisher said it was cutting 1,000 positions, with 600 staffers being let go.