Thursday, October 22, 2009

More Sad News for the Newspaper Industry

According to Reuters the New York Times Co reported a narrower quarterly loss on Thursday and said advertising sales fell 27 percent, but it beat revenue forecasts and echoed fellow publishers who say ad spending may be returning to newspapers.

The Times, which is getting ready to cut 100 jobs from the newsroom of its namesake newspaper, reported a profit before one-time charges that beat analysts' estimates.

It also said it is "moving ahead" on a plan to sell its interest in the group that owns the Boston Red Sox baseball team. On Oct. 14, it said it was scrapping its plan to sell the money-losing Boston Globe.

The Times's third-quarter net loss was $35.6 million, or 25 cents a share. Last year's loss was $106.3 million, or 74 cents a share, which included a writedown.

Excluding various charges and items, the Times reported profit of 16 cents a share, up from 5 cents last year.

Revenue fell 17 percent to $570.6 million on ad declines, beating the average analyst forecast of $561.6, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S/. The company said fourth-quarter ad performance looks better.

"We have seen encouraging signs of improvement in the overall economy and in discussions with our advertisers," Chief Executive Janet Robinson said in a statement.

The company also raised newspaper prices, contributing to a 6.7 percent climb in circulation revenue.

The Times, like other U.S. newspaper owners, has been fighting revenue declines as more people get their news for free online and the recession cuts ad budgets.

Other publishers including Gannett Co Inc (GCI.N), McClatchy Co (MNI.N) and Media General Inc (MEG.N) have reported similar third-quarter results, and have said that future ad revenue, while still down, might not fall as steeply as it has so far this year.

No comments: