Showing signs of struggle in advertising and even its once robust online properties, The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) performed about as poorly as expected in Q1, posting a $74.4 million net loss ($0.52 per share) versus a $335,000 loss the year before. This year’s charges include a $.07 per share loss on leases and an $.11 per share charge for severance. Total ad revenues plunged 27 percent to $45.4 million. About the one somewhat positive area was circulation, which was up slightly due to price hikes at its newspapers, noted NYTCo President and CEO Janet Robinson, in a statement.
— Online declines: Robinson also pinned the online revenue fall-off on the “intensified” global economic downturn. At the company’s internet businesses, which include NYTimes.com, About.com, Boston.com, among others, total revenues slid 5.6 percent to $78.2 million from $82.9 million. Online ad revs fell 6.1 percent to $67.6 million from $72.0 million. Within the News Media Group segment, internet revs dropped 8 percent to $42.2 million from $45.8 million. In total, the internet businesses comprised 12.8 percent of the NYTCo’s revenues compared with 11.1 percent in Q108.
— About Group: The About Group had been riding high last year largely on the strength of its acquisitions. But the economy and the pullback in display ad spending helped put an end to this segment’s winning streak. Total About Group revs slipped 4.7 percent to $26.8 million from $28.2 million. The NYTCo cited display’s decline, but pointed out that it would have been worse if it hadn’t started shifting to cost-per-click advertising, which it said came in higher. The company didn’t specify its CPC and display performance numbers. Also on the plus side, total About Group operating costs were reduced by 4.1 percent to $17.9 million from $18.6 million. In the end, operating profit fell 6 percent to $9.0 million from $9.5 million. More after the jump
— News Media Group: The segment’s revenues sank 19.1 percent on lower print ads. Both print and online combined to bring News Media Group’s ad revenues down by 28.4 percent. The Boston Globe, which has been threatened with being shuttered, was seen as a prime driver of the $54.3 million operating loss in Q1, as revenue fell across the board at the NYTCo’s New England Media Group, which includes the Worcester Telegram & Gazette as well as The Globe’s Boston.com site.
— Joint ventures: A small bright spot was the NYTCo’s joint ventures, results of which weren’t broken out. In all, JVs brought in $4.4 million in net income compared with a net loss of $1.8 million in Q108.