Just days after announcing that it will eliminate 100 newsroom jobs at The New York Times before the end of the year, The New York Times Co. announced their third quarter earnings this morning — and it’s surprisingly not all bad news.
Exceeding expectations, the company reported a 30.2 percent increase in operating profit for the quarter and 21.6 percent decline in operating costs. The company said it had also worked to reduce its debt by $140 million through aggressive cost-cutting. The company has cut its spending by doing things like revamping benefit plans for nonunion employees (saving them $18 million) and renegotiating the labor agreements with Boston Globe employees, earning $10 million in savings in the second half of 2009 and a projected $20 million next year.
CEO Janet Robinson attributed the relatively good quarter to a slew of things, including rising circulation revenues, which grew 6.7 percent during the quarter. This despite the fact that total revenues dropped 16.9 percent to $570.6 million from $687 million last year, primarily due to a 26.9 percent decline in advertising revenue.
What’s more, for the New York Times Media Group segment of the company, circulation revenues were actually higher than advertising revenues for the quarter.
“Looking ahead, visibility remains limited for advertising in the fourth quarter,” Robinson said. “But as is the case across the media sector, we have seen encouraging signs of improvement in the overall economy and in discussions with our advertisers. Early in the fourth quarter, print advertising trends, in comparison to the third quarter, have improved modestly, while digital advertising trends are improving more significantly.”
Download the entire earnings press release here.