The New York Times announced on Thursday its fourth-quarter revenue decreased 1.1 percent to $439.7 million from $444.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, with print advertising revenue dropping 20 percent. Still, it finished with a quarterly profit of $37.1 million.
For 2016, the Times reported a profit of $29.1 million, or 18 cents per share, while revenue was reported as $1.56 billion. CEO Mark Thompson focused on digital growth in the paper’s quarterly earnings report, as digital advertising revenue increased 10.9 percent.
“The continued excellence of our journalism and our consumer-first focus led to incredible strength in our circulation business, both in the fourth quarter and for the full year,” Thompson, said. “As of today, we have passed the 3 million paid subscription mark (print and digital), a significant milestone.”
Thompson continued: “In Q4, we added 276,000 net new digital news subscriptions, the single best quarter since 2011, the year the pay model launched. With the rate of growth accelerating over the past year, we believe that there is further opportunity to significantly extend our subscription reach, both in the U.S. and around the world.”
The Manhattan-based paper of record was up 11 percent year-over-year in digital advertising growth based on solid performances in smartphone, marketing services, branded content and programmatic advertising. Paid digital-only subscriptions totaled approximately 1,853,000 as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, a net increase of 296,000 subscriptions compared to the end of the third quarter of 2016 and a 45.9 percent increase compared to the end of the fourth quarter of 2015.
Digital advertising revenue was $77.6 million, or 41.9 percent of total Company advertising revenues, compared with $69.9 million, or 34.1 percent, in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Shares have risen nearly two percent since the beginning of the year and the stock has grown nearly five percent in the last 12 months. The Times has recently battled with President Trump, who refers to the paper as “failing” on Twitter whenever he doesn’t like something it reports.