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NY Times Profits Beat Expectations as Subscribers Top 7.8 Million

Paper reports slowest subscriber growth since 2019 for first quarter

The New York Times added just just 301,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2021, for a total of over 7.8 million subscribers, according to its Wednesday earnings release. Though that’s the lowest amount of new subscribers added since the third quarter of 2019, the company’s leaders are optimistic the paper is still on track to have 10 million subscribers by 2025 and noted its profit margins have continued to rise.

Advertising remained down in the quarter, as it has in recent earnings reports. Overall, advertisement shrank by 8.5% since Q1 of 2020.

According to the release, adjusted diluted earnings per share was $.26 for the quarter. By comparison, the first quarter of 2020 saw adjusted diluted earnings per share of $.17.

New York Times Company president and CEO Meredith Kopit Levin said in a Wednesday statement, “The fundamental drivers of our business — audience, registered readers, and subscriber engagement –
are stronger than in 2019 and position us well for long-term growth. In February and March, our audiences
declined from their historic highs last year, and we saw fewer net subscription additions in the latter part of
the quarter. We expect moderated growth to continue through the second quarter, traditionally our softest
of the year. With lower forecasted second quarter performance, we now expect annual total net subscription
additions to be in the range of our 2019 performance, which, prior to 2020, was our best year for net

The paper acknowledged in a writeup of its report that the ouster of former president Donald Trump and the installation of President Joe Biden contributed to a more low-key kind of news consumption for readers.

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