NY Times Co. Had A Tough October
November 20, 2008 at 4:18 PM (PT)
THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY saw OCTOBER revenues from continuing operations decrease by 9.4% compared with the same month a year ago. Advertising revenues decreased 16.2% and circulation revenues increased 3.9%. Advertising revenues for the NEWS MEDIA GROUP declined 17.2% because of weakness in print advertising. Revenue from its long radio property WQXR was not broken out.
About the only silver lining to its report came in Internet advertising revenues, which increased 5.3%. Year-to-date OCTOBER '08 Internet advertising revenues included in the NEWS MEDIA GROUP were up 12.7% compared with the same period in 2007.
The company also cut its quarterly dividend from 23 to 6 cents/share of Class A and Class B common stock. The dividend is payable on DECEMBER 15 to shareholders of record on DECEMBER 1.
"This was a difficult but necessary decision that will provide us with greater financial flexibility in these uncertain economic times," said Chairman ARTHUR SULZBERGER, JR. "Most industries are feeling the need to conserve cash and ours is as well, particularly given the secular challenges we face. Throughout our history, we have successfully weathered difficult periods by maintaining our brand promise of providing high-quality journalism. In order to continue to do so, we have taken decisive steps to reduce capital spending, lower operating costs and re-evaluate our assets. We expect that this steep cut in the dividend, coupled with our other actions, will help us decrease debt and improve the liquidity of the Company, a prudent measure in this operating environment."