In news that isn't going to make journalists or the people who pay them very happy, The New York Times lost 7.2 percent in print advertising revenue and 10.3 percent in digital advertising revenue in the past quarter.
Okay, so the digital advertising drop can be blamed (and The New York Times' Amy Chozick did) on the flailing About Group (which the Times Company owns), and its 23.1 percent drop in overall revenue. But even though the About Group is giant money-suck, and really isn't what you think of when you think of The New York Times, those advertising numbers did hurt. "Despite gains in paid digital subscriptions at the company’s largest newspapers, first-quarter operating profit declined 24.3 percent, dragged down by an 8.1 percent drop in advertising revenue" writes Chozick. She added, "Total revenue declined 0.3 percent, to $499.4 million." Of course, the Times' own headline for their report was "New York Times Co. Reports Gain in Net Income."
The dip in total revenue, is perhaps more troubling. Today's numbers make it five consecutive quarters that the company has reported revenue decline. The company reported in October that its third-quarter revenue declined 3.1 percent from the quarter a year earlier, after posting losses of 2.2 percent, 3.6 percent, and 2.9 percent in previous quarters. We were also surprised by The Boston Globe's digital subscription model: "Paid subscriptions to The Boston Globe’s e-reader and replica editions and BostonGlobe.com were up 13 percent, to about 18,000," wrote Chozick.
The bright side? Well, it was a good idea to shed those regional papers. "Nearly 70 percent of the company’s net income in the quarter came from the sale of its Regional Media Group, which yielded the company a large tax benefit," wrote Chozick.