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WSJ Says Digital Ad Sales Up 29 Percent

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A week after the New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) put out a relatively solid forecast for digital ad sales during the quarter ending this week, the WSJ is one-upping the Times with some numbers of its own. In a memo to staff members (via Romenesko), CEO Les Hinton says that during the company’s most recent quarter, which ended last week, overall print and online revenue was up 17 percent at the newspaper, compared to a year ago; print ad revenue was up 21 percent, while digital ad revenue was up 29 percent.

News Corp. (NSDQ: NWS) typically doesn’t break out the performance of its individual newspapers, although two quarters ago the company said overall ad sales at the WSJ were up 25 percent and Hinton says in his memo that this marks the paper’s “fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth in print and digital advertising.”

Hinton specifically refers to the New York Times Co.’ own figures “as a basis of comparison.” He pointed out that the NYTCo forecast last week that online ad sales would be up 14 percent for the quarter, while print ad revenue would be down five percent. It’s worth noting, however, that those figures include the NYTCo as a whole, while the figures Hinton cites for his company seem to refer only to the performance of the Wall Street Journal.