NYT still swimming in red ink

A LOSS of more than $US35 million for the 12 weeks to Sept 30 has been posted by the New York Times Co overnight.

The result includes obligations around pension payments and other charges which, if excluded, meant the major American newspaper publisher and media owner made a profit of 16c a share.

For the first time, the company made more from circulation than ad revenue – an almost unthinkable outcome until recently.

It illustrates the depth of the US recession in terms of media spend, but also shows that while newspaper sales are down in the US, that performance is not as catastrophic as the advertising.

Ad revenue for Q3 fell 30 percent – in line with similar results announced earlier this week by rivals Gannett and McClathy.

The 3rd quarter result comes on the back of three consecutive quarterly losses.

In the comparative period in 2008, the company lost $US106 million.

This year began with a negative $US74 million result for the first 12 weeks.

The latest result illustrates a fiscal performance heavily underpinned by cost-cutting, battling against that continuing decline in ad revenue.

While the result beat market forecasts, there was no escaping the fact that revenues dropped 17 percent to $US560 million compared with the corresponding period last year.

Earlier this week, the flagship newspaper, the New York Times, announced a second round of redundancies in the newsroom, with managing editor Bill Keller saying he needed to let 100 journalists go.

More layoffs are expected in other editorial areas of the newspapers.

A company statement said savings of $US475 million could be expected in the next 12 months and that assets, such as the Boston Red Sox, would be evaluated for their long-term contribution to the company.

Reuters reported there was “some concern” the company had only $US24 million in cash and assets, and hundreds of millions of dollars to debt to pay – “though none of it due soon”.

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