Sign of the ‘Times': NYT Now Gets More Money From Circ Than Ads

Meanwhile, company reports $35M loss, but execs say deep cost cuts are working.

Last Updated: October 22, 2009 @ 1:53 PM

The New York Times Company released its quarterly earnings report on Thursday, and for the first time, the publisher’s circulation revenue eclipsed revenue from advertising.

The Times Co. said its circulation revenue grew 6.7 percent during the third quarter, to $175.2 million. Advertising revenue fell 29.6 percent to $164.5 million — as the Times’ own Richard Perez-Pena called it, a "watershed moment" in an industry that has been traditionally ad-driven.

Meanwhile, the company reported a $35.6 million loss for the quarter.

But executives said they were pleased that the results beat expectations, and that some of the cost-cutting measures the company has undertaken – such as the elimination of 100 newsroom jobs by the end of the year – are putting the Times in a good position for future growth.

Janet Robinson, the company’s president and CEO, said the results reflect “the sustained actions we have been aggressively pursuing to reposition our businesses for the evolving future of the media industry.”

She added: “Early in the fourth quarter, print advertising trends, in comparison to the third quarter, have improved modestly, while digital advertising trends are improving significantly.”

For the Times, hopefully that’s sooner rather than later. The company’s digital advertising revenue fell 18.5 percent during the third quarter.

Overall, Internet revenues – including, and other Times’ controlled Web sites — fell 7.2 percent to $78.9 million, while Internet advertising revenues declined 8.2 percent to $68.3 million.

On Monday, the company announced that it needs to cut 100 positions, or about 8 percent, from the New York Times newsroom by the end of the year.

In his memo announcing the cuts, executive editor Bill Keller wrote: "Like you, I yearn for the day when we can do our jobs without looking over our shoulders for economic thunderstorms."