Earnings: NYTCO’s Q2 Income Slides 59 Percent; Online Revs Grow 23 Percent; About.com Up 27 Percent

Citing the same industry-wide downward pressure on newspaper advertising that’s been afflicting its competitors the past few quarters, The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) said Q2 income from continuing operations declined 59 percent to $22.1 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with $53.9 million, or 37 cents a share, a year before. Total Q2 revenues fell 3.7 percent to $788.9 million from $819.6 million. Ad revenues decreased 5.7 percent; circulation revenues decreased 0.5 percent; while other revenues rose 2.2 percent. Other highlights included in its Q2 report:

— Internet revenues grew 23.4 percent to $80.9 million from $65.6 million in Q206. The properties included in that segment are digital archives, NYTimes.com, Boston.com and About.com. In total, online businesses accounted for 10.3 percent of NYTCO’s revenues in Q2 versus 8.0 percent last year.

— Revenues for the News Media Group fell 4.5 percent to $764.2 million from $800.2 million. The group’s ad revenues decreased 6.9 percent, which was partially offset by higher online advertising revenues.

— For About.com, revenues 27.0 percent to $24.7 million from $19.4 million thanks to increased display and cost-per-click advertising. The About unit also benefited from revenues associated with the acquisition of product reviews site ConsumerSearch.com in May. Total operating costs for About grew 33.4 percent, mainly because of higher compensation costs, which the NYTCO said were related to investments in new initiatives and higher editorial costs. Operating profit grew 16.4 percent to $8.5 million from $7.3 million.

— In a separate release regarding its June results, the NYTCO said ad revenues from continuing operations decreased 5.5 percent and revenues retreated 3.6 percent compared with June 2006. Internet ad revenues in June, included in the News Media Group, rose 22 percent due to growth in both display and classified ads. The internet revenues increase was not enough to prevent ad revenue for the total News Media Group from falling 6.5 percent.

— Looking ahead, the company said print advertising will continue to struggle, especially in the banking, financial services and the classified categories. And while the NYTCO said it continues to anticipate strong gains at its digital properties, in the month of July, the rate of growth for online ads at the News Media Group is expected to be lower than the company has experienced to date in 2007. This likely outcome is mostly attributed to “two large campaigns” that will not repeat at NYT’s website. More to come. Earnings release | Webcast (10:30 a.m. EST)