Online revenue at The New York Times Company (NYT) would have to be doubling to make up for the drop in overall revenue, based on the figures the company supplied for October. Unfortunately, online sales increased less than 5% for the month.
With a number of newspaper companies close to insolvency, no one thought that The New York Times would post strong advertising figures for October. But, the firm’s online business should be the one bright spot. Without stellar performance in that department, NYT troubles only grow,putting its dividend and ability to pay debt service at risk.
For last month advertising revenues for the entire company decreased 16.2% and circulation revenue increased 3.9%.
Internet advertising revenue included in the News Media Group increased 5.3% as more moderate growth in display advertising was partially offset by continued weakness in online recruitment advertising.
Advertising revenue at the About Group, the company’s reference website business, rose 3.4% as growth in cost-per-click advertising offset declines in display advertising.
In total, Internet businesses accounted for 12.1% of total revenues in October versus 10.5% in October 2007.
Advertising revenue at the NYT New England properties, mostly The Boston Globe, was down almost 22%. At the flagship New York Times, ad revenue fell 15.3%.
Total revenue for October fell 9% or $31 million. If online revenue is 12% of that, or $35 million, it would have to be doubling to make up the drop in print.
Douglas A. McIntyre