On Thursday, The New York Times Co. suffered its largest single-day drop in its stock price in more than 30 years, after reporting weaker than expected earnings.
Overall revenue at the company totaled $449 million which was down 1 percent from the same period last year, and well below analysts estimates of $479 million.
Advertising revenue continued to show weakness, with print ad revenue falling a whopping 11 percent, while digital ad revenue fell just 2.2 percent.
That was more than enough to offset the gain in the company’s digital subscription base, which grew 7.4 percent, but still represents a small percentage of the Times Co. revenue.
The tough advertising climate underscores the fact that the economy has not fully recovered from the recession, as well as the fact that newspaper companies like the Times are still struggling with how to deal with the erosion of their print business, and how to make their digital properties profitable.
The Times may have thought they were out of the financial woods, but this poor quarterly report proves otherwise, and further endangers the long term survival of their newspaper business.
If that business does indeed eventually fail, I for one will not be shedding any tears at the demise of one of the most liberal papers in the country.