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New York Times profit down and digital subscriptions up

NEW YORK: The New York Times Co. has reported a sharp drop in profits as lower advertising revenues offset gains in digital subscriptions.
Net profit for the second quarter fell to $9.2 million from $20.1 million in the same period a year ago.
Total revenues were essentially flat at $389 million, with circulation revenues up 1.4 percent and ad revenues down 4.1 percent.
The bottom line was also hurt by higher operating costs, which the company attributed to increased investments in boosting the digital profile of the prestigious newspaper publisher.
Digital advertising revenues were up 3.4 percent but that failed to offset a 6.6 percent drop in print advertising revenue.
“We saw continued growth in digital advertising and circulation revenues during the quarter,” said Mark Thompson, president and CEO.
“But know that we still have more work to do to transform our business and deliver long-term sustainable revenue growth for the company.”
The Times added 32,000 digital subscribers in the quarter, helped by newly released subscription options including NYT Now, NYT Opinion and Times Premier.
The NYT Now app is designed for mobile device users, and Times Premier is a premium news and information service that adds to the cost of a regular subscription.
“We’re encouraged by the reaction of users to the products, especially the high consumer satisfaction levels we’re seeing with the NYT Now app,” said Thompson, the former BBC chief who became president and chief executive in late 2012.
“But, while we expected the portfolio to take time to build, we want to accelerate the rate of growth in subscription sales, so over the coming months, we will refine some of the offers and the way we market the portfolio to accomplish this.”
Like other media firms, the Times is shifting its focus from print to digital as it strives to adapt to a decline in readership and competition from other sources of news online.

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