'NYT' 1st Quarter: Online Growth Totally Eroded by Print Tailspin


The headline, once again, is going to be that the New York Times Company 1st quarter profit is up five times over a year ago! Wow, right? Yeah, that would be misleading. Here’s what’s actually up, if you read on past the first page of their report. “Total revenues decreased 3.2 percent to $587.9 million from $607.1 million. Advertising revenues declined 6.1 percent, circulation revenues rose 3.5 percent, and other revenues decreased 15.5 percent. The increase in digital advertising revenues, which rose 18.3 percent, was more than offset by a 12.3 percent decrease in print advertising revenues.” (Most of that digital ad money comes from the About.com Group.) Still, that’s good! Because 2009 Q2 had an online ad downturn

, which was a little scary. So: “Circulation revenues rose because of higher subscription and newsstand prices.” (This is what they call a “short term bump.”) Still, the good news is that expenses are down; they saved about $85 million. The bad news? “About half of the savings are from reductions in compensation.” And. “Print advertising revenues were weak across the News Media Group resulting in a 12.3 percent decline.” We won’t even bother to look at the debt that comes up in 2012 and 2015, because it’s quite a bit and also above our pay grade to judge. Still, their forecast for the rest of the year fails to be cheery.