Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Ad Dollars Shrink at the New York Times, Again

Three months ago, the New York Times seemed to have halted its advertising skid after a very long slide.

Perhaps it has started up again. Ad revenue dropped one percent during Q3: Digital revenue jumped 14.6 percent, but that wasn’t enough to counter a 5.8 percent drop in print ads–which CEO Janet Robinson had thought would move up again this quarter. This morning, though, she cited “uneven economic conditions” and “marketplace volatility.”

Meanwhile, circulation revenue dropped 4.8 percent, and the company’s overall revenue sank by 2.7 percent.

The Times isn’t terribly optimistic about the fourth quarter: It thinks prints ads may improve “modestly,” while digital will grow by 10 percent, which is a deceleration from both this quarter as well as the previous quarter’s 21 percent growth rate.

Here’s the full breakout for the Times’ digital properties (NYT.com, About.com, etc), which appear to be doing pretty well:

  • Total Internet revenues increased 13.3 percent to $89.4 million from $78.9 million.
  • Internet advertising revenues increased 14.6 percent to $78.3 million from $68.3 million.
  • Internet advertising revenues at the News Media Group increased 21.6 percent to $47.4 million from $39.0 million, mainly due to strong growth in national display advertising.
  • Internet businesses accounted for 16.1 percent of the company’s revenues for the third quarter of 2010 versus 13.9 percent for the third quarter of 2009.

Meanwhile, the Times doesn’t have anything new to say about its plan to move its main Web site to a “metered model” pay wall next year. Perhaps we’ll hear something about it during the 11 am earnings call.


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