The New York Times is feeling the pinch from the continued economic slump and warned investors yesterday that ad revenue will decline more than originally expected.
At the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference being held this week in New York , Times CEO Janet L. Robinson revealed that advertising revenue would decline 8% in the current quarter, which is twice as much as the paper forecast in July.
“We’re seeing that advertisers are less frequently committing upfront because of the uncertainty in their business,” Robinson told the attendees.
The biggest decline is in print advertising, which is down by 10%, with the one-time ray of sunshine, digital ads, off by 2%-3%.
This compares to the second quarter where print ads declined by 6.4% and web ads rose by 2.6%.
Robinson also acknowledged that the ad climate was “getting more difficult ever since the second quarter.”
The only bright spot for the paper was the 4% increase in digital subscriptions, though that growth has tailed off significantly since the paywall was enacted.
Investors headed for the exits, driving down the stock price 6.9% to a new 52-week low of $6.18.
The unexpected ad slump will only increase pressure on the Times to cut costs and sell what assets they have left.
Earlier this year it was reported that the Times had lined up a buyer for the Boston Globe, which they purchased in 1993 and is estimated to be losing $85 million per year. But they didn’t proceed with the sale, hoping that the paper would turn around enough to fetch a higher price in the future. They probably should have sold when they had the chance.
The Times apparently had a little too much faith in Obama’s ability to turn the economy around.