Mark Thompson, president and CEO of The New York Times, has made some investors happy. In a statement, he said that the Times Company board decided “That the strength of the balance sheet justified the restoration of a dividend.” It’s the first dividend being paid out by the Times in five years. Starting in late October, shareholders will get four cents per share.
The dividend — which will be doled out a week before the Times announces its third quarter report — applies to Class A and B shares, and will cost the company about $24 million a year.
Despite this move, Thompson emphasized caution going forward. ”Given the expectation of continued volatility in advertising revenue and the fact that our growth strategy is at an early stage of development, we will maintain a prudent view of both the balance sheet and free cash flow,” he said.