There seem to be few sectors and exchange traded funds (ETFs) that have managed to remain immune from the economic downturn. The latest is your local NBC affiliate.

NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker says the downturn has had a “profound” effect on local television stations, but that so far, there hasn’t been a slowdown on the national level. NBC owns 10 local broadcasters, including stations in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, plus 15 Spanish-language stations. About $2 billion in ad sales are generated from these stations, says Georgina Prodhan for Reuters.

Zucker doesn’t solely blame the economic slowdown, though: he admits that they could do a little better in the entertainment arena. Hey, perhaps airing “30 Rock” a little sooner than Oct. 30 would help. At least we have “The Office” to console us until then…

NBC’s parent company is General Electric (GE).

Newspapers have also been hit by slowing ad revenue as they’re faced with ever-increasing competition from the internet. In fact, one new media after another over the years has emerged to slowly chip at the audience for newspapers, says Thomas Kupper for the San Diego Union-Tribune. There was radio and television before the World Wide Web came into play, and gave consumers new ways to get information when they want it: immediately.

Some ETFs that may be pinched by slowing ad revenue include:

  • iShares Dow Jones US Industrial (IYJ): down 16.9% year-to-date; GE is 15.6%
  • Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI): down 18.3% year-to-date; GE is 3%
  • PowerShares Dynamic Media (PBS): down 25.7% year-to-date

Media Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.