A bright perfomance online wasn’t enough to rescue the New York Times Company in the third quarter. The company’s third quarter profit tumbled more than 39 percent to 14 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with $23 million, or 16 cents, a year earlier as advertising and circulation dropped.
Part of the hit came from staff reduction costs and a loss associated with the sale of its 50 percent stake in Discovery Times Channel. A drop off in advertising and circulation pushed revenue down 2.4 percent to $739.6 million.
In the earnings release, CEO Janet Robinson said the results were hurt by the “continued weakness in the print advertising marketplace.” She added that the company was continuing to reap the benefits of its online business, which contributed more than 8 percent of quarterly revenue and is on track to hit more than $250 million by the end of the year.
– Revenue at About.com soared 29.3% to $18.3 million from $14.2 million amid higher advertising and e-commerce revenue. Profit jumped 68 percent to $6.4 million from $3.8 million.
— Overall online revenue was $62.8 million in the quarter, up 24 percent from $50.5 million a year earlier. For the first nine months of the year, the company’s sites generated $189.7 million, compared with $134.2 million.
– News Media Group sales fell 3 percent to $721.3 million amid weakness in print advertising at the New York Times Media Group, which includes the flagship paper, and the New England Media Group, which includes the Boston Globe. The unit’s operating profit tumbled 44 percent to $25.5 million from $45.3 million.
— Against the background of those falling national, retail and classified print ad revenues across the group, there was a substantial increase in online ad revenues. Across the NYT, New England and Regional Media Groups September web ad revenues increased 18.9 percent in both display and classified. Internet ad revenues increased 21.4 percent in Q3 and 23.1 percent year to date.
— TimesSelect now has 551,000 subscribers and has generated more than $7 million in revenues year to date, $8.5 million since it launched in September 2005.
We’ll have more from the earnings call. (Jemima Kiss contributed to this report.)
Update: The WSJ has a thorough look at the problems NYTCO faces in Boston. One line for now, more later: “The Globe, like other newspapers, has a Web site, but ad growth online is dwarfed by what is exiting the print side.”
Release| Webcast (11 a.m. eastern) | September Figures