Thursday, October 25, 2012

The New York Times Co. reports Q3 earnings: profits fall 85%; advertising revenues, print and digital, fall 8.9%

The New York Times Company this morning announced its Q3 earnings and reported that profits for the company's third quarter were $2.28 million, a drop of 85 percent from the same time period one year ago. Profits, though were boosted one year ago by the sale of investments.

The New York Times Co. reported an operating loss of $143.6 million in Q2 due to the write-down of goodwill at the About Group.

Third quarter ad revenues were dismal, despite the election season, with total revenue declining a bit less than one percent to $449 million. Advertising revenue continues to be the problem, with ad revenue down to $182.6 million, a decline of 8.9 percent.

Print advertising at The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The International Herald Tribune, declined 10.9 percent, and digital advertising performed no better, falling 2.2 percent.

"While our results for the third quarter reflect continued pressure on advertising revenues, total circulation revenues rose, led by the ongoing expansion of our digital subscription base," said Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the chairman and chief executive of the Times Company, said in the earnings statement.

The New York Times Co. recently named Mark Thompson as its new president and CEO. Thompson had previously served as the BBC's director-general. Seen as a political animal, Thompson has no print or advertising background, having spent his entire career at the U.K. broadcaster, all of it on the editorial side of the business. This all does not bode well for a media company dependent on ad revenue, both digital and print, to turn itself around.