Because of massive budget cuts, the New York Times Company managed to post a net income of $90.9 million in the fourth quarter of last year, despite still-struggling ad sales. Ad revenue fell 17.1 percent in that quarter, which was bad, but not nearly as bad as the 30 percent decline over the previous three quarters of the year. Earnings this past quarter, according to the paper, were 61 cents a share, compared to 19 cents a share in the same quarter a year earlier (when net income was only $27.6 million). The profit pushed the year’s balance sheet slightly into the red, and while the $19.9 million profit might not seem like much, it was a good deal better than 2008’s $57.8 million loss. Still, it came at a price to the paper. It was the sale of radio station WQXR, freezing pension plans, asking for pay cuts, and demanding major concessions from the union at the Boston Globe that made any profit at all possible. The only sign of actual performance improvement came from the web, where newspaper and About.com advertising revenue rose over 10 percent in the last quarter. That’s likely going to be something company bosses continue to think long and hard about when they consider any kind of pay wall that could cut into traffic.