NY Times: Digital revenue down, circulation revenue up

The New York Times Company has reported a 37.6 per cent plunge in fourth-quarter operating profits in 2008 – down from $101.5m to $63.3m.

Even digital advertising on sites such as NYTimes.com, which the company said grew at a rate of about 15 per cent in the first nine months of the year, fell 3.5 per cent year on year in the final quarter of 2008.

Total revenues fell 10.8 per cent, from $865m to $772m – with advertising revenues down 17.6 per cent.

Price rises at the New York Times, Boston Globe and a number of smaller papers helped the group increase its circulation revenues by 3.7 per cent.

The company said it had stripped out $136m in costs over the year.

New York Times Company chief executive Janet Robinson said: “The disruptions of the global economy are affecting all businesses and industries, especially companies, such as ours, that generate a significant portion of their revenues from advertising.”

She added: “As we look ahead, we believe advertisers will continue to be cautious with their budgets, particularly in the early part of this year.

“To date in January the rate of decline in print advertising revenue has accelerated from what we saw in December, while that of digital is similar to last month.

“During this difficult time in our business and the economy, executing well on our strategy of providing outstanding journalism, developing new revenue streams, restructuring our cost base and

improving our financial flexibility will help us meet the challenges we face.”

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