December 3, 2020

Times Company Posts Loss on Write-Down

The New York Times Company reported on Thursday an overall loss in the second quarter as print advertising continued to struggle, dragging down growth in online advertising.

The net loss of $119.7 million was due in part to a noncash write-down of $161.3 million to reflect the declining value of its Regional Media Group, which includes newspapers like The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Tuscaloosa News and The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, Calif. The per-share loss translated into 81 cents, compared with a profit of 21 cents a share, or $32 million, in the period a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items and severance costs, the company’s operating profit in the quarter was $82.9 million, compared with $92.6 million in the period a year earlier.

Revenue declined 2.2 percent, to $576.7 million from $589.6 million, in large part because of a 4 percent decrease in advertising. The company said a 2.6 percent increase in online advertising revenue partly offset a 6.4 percent decline in print advertising. Operating costs declined by nearly 1 percent, to $525.2 million in the quarter, the company said.

The company did see encouraging growth in subscriptions to The New York Times’s digital editions, a sign that consumers were responding favorably to a business gamble that few American newspaper companies have been willing to make.

Since March, when the paper introduced its metered model, The Times has signed up 224,000 paying subscribers to NYTimes.com in addition to 57,000 others who pay to receive The Times on e-readers like the Barnes Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle.

Home delivery orders also ticked up, helping to slow the rate of decline in print circulation revenue. Over all, the company’s circulation revenue for the quarter was flat at $234.9 million, reflecting the print declines and the introductory 99-cent rate for digital subscriptions. Circulation revenue was up 1.6 percent at The New York Times Media Group but down 5.4 percent at the New England Media Group, which includes The Boston Globe, and down 1.7 percent at the regional papers.

As the introductory rate expires and more customers begin paying the full price, which starts at $15 every four weeks, The Times expects to see more of a benefit to its bottom line.

“The digital subscription model is a long-term effort, and its full impact on revenues will be more evident over the course of the year as we progress past the early stages of the plan,” said Janet L. Robinson, the chief executive.

Ms. Robinson added that the digital subscriptions would provide the company “with a significant new revenue stream in the second half of this year.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=106af09d3addc7d7f0a2192526bdbfa1

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