With Eyes on Bancrofts, Times Co. Announces Lousy Earnings, Big Cuts

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Arthur Sulzberger Jr.Photo: Courtesy of the New York Times

While we're all distracted by the newspaper family currently confabbing in Boston — and there's no movement on the Bancroft-o-Meter today, as we haven't seen any news reports speculating further on who in the family stands where — some intriguing news came yesterday from the New York newspaper family that's been busy moving great-grandpa's keepsakes around the corner in Hell's Kitchen. The New York Times Company released its second-quarter financials yesterday, and in what can only be dispiriting news to the Sulzbergers, income from continuing operations fell an impressive 59 percent from a year earlier as advertising continues to crater.

The group that includes the Times and the IHT saw advertising revenue decline 5.3 percent; at the group including the Boston Globe, it fell 7.6 percent, and at the regional-papers group, the drop was 11.6 percent. But, miraculously, analysts professed to be pleased with yesterday's announcement. Why? Because the Times Co. also said it plans to cut costs by $230 million dollars over the next two years. “The savings being talked about are much higher than even the most optimistic estimates,” a Deutsche Banker said enthusiastically. Somehow we don't feel quite so optimistic.

Weakness in Advertising Reduces Earnings at Times Company [NYT]