Fox, Warner Bros Discovery And Comcast Stocks Dip After Major News Breaks About Tucker Carlson, Don Lemon And Jeff Shell

Shares of Fox, Comcast and Warner Bros. Discovery each plunged on Monday after the media companies reported industry-shaking headlines in less than 24 hours.

Comcast announced Sunday that NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell had left the company because of an inappropriate relationship with a co-worker. Fox and WBD delivered the equally surprising news on Monday that they had parted ways with major hosts tucker carlson Don Lemon of Fox News and CNN, respectively.

The three stocks were down between 1.6% and 3.6% with a little more than an hour left in the trading day. Trading volume was light for WBD and Comcast, but almost three times heavier than normal for Fox. The overall media sector was mostly in the red on a day when the broader markets were at break-even.

The three pieces of news certainly have different implications for each entity’s financial outlook. Fox, which is heavily dependent on Fox News revenue and collects about $100 million in annual advertising for Carlson’s show, saw its shares drop 4% shortly after news of the host’s ouster broke. The move follows Fox’s decision to pay $787 million to settle a lawsuit filed against Dominion Voting Systems.

For Comcast, NBCU is a major asset, but it generates only one-third of its total revenue. The shock of Shell’s sudden ouster has been offset somewhat by the layers of corporate management surrounding the entertainment part of the company, which still makes most of its money selling broadband and cable TV. Shell’s duties were immediately taken over by Comcast President Mike Cavanagh, a trusted corporate lieutenant who is well respected in financial circles.

Meanwhile, CNN is not seen as central to WBD’s investment thesis, but has been an intricate part of the news network portfolio since the $43 billion merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery closed in April 2022. As seen by the new corporate parent. Lemon was also part of the reformatting of the network’s morning show, to add more political balance and deliver a more down-the-middle broadcast. As one of three anchors on CNN This Morning, a change from her previous solo run in primetime, Lemon had not gotten into a groove with her co-anchors, Caitlin Collins and Poppy Harlow. Then, the situation escalated several weeks ago as Lemon had to apologize for comments about the perceived lack of appeal of Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley and other women who are “past their prime.”