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Broadcast industry stocks hit 52-week low

The summer has brought hard times for some of the nation’s largest media companies. Economic sluggishness, company-specific concerns and broader market declines were particularly pronounced in the month of June.

All media conglomerates hit 52-week lows during the first quarter, while the second quarter saw News Corp., CBS and Sony fall off even more, according to

Viacom, the report said, went into free-fall mode and hit lows during the second quarter, hurt by a cable network advertising revenue warning and concerns about a possible loss of its DreamWorks partnership. It leaves the stock as the biggest loser among sector giants at the half-year point.

Only 11 names on “The Hollywood Reporter Showbiz 50” stock index finished first-half 2008 above their 2007 close, led by video game firm Take-Two Interactive, which Electronic Arts has been trying to buy. Its 39 percent gain is followed by Warner Music Group and Marvel (up 20 percent each) and DreamWorks Animation (up 17 percent).

Concerns about the U.S. economy, the continuing credit crunch, and rising prices for oil and other commodities “are sending investors away from consumer discretionary stocks” and ad-dependent stocks, Miller Tabak analyst David Joyce said.