The analysis in my column was based on the New York Times Company’s public statements. As Catherine Mathis acknowledges, the Times has announced plans to borrow up to $225 million against the value of its building, but I should not have suggested that this borrowing had already begun. The information about revolving credit agreements referred to in Ms. Mathis’s letter was announced on December 9, as it happens the day my column (for the current print edition of The Atlantic) went to press.
Given the subject matter, I will happily grant that this is, if nothing else, densely ironic. And I will also grant that these recently announced conditions may slow down the doomsday clock. However, additional numbers released by the New York Times Company since the piece went to press do not inspire confidence in the paper’s long-term prospects. According to the Times, advertising revenue for the month of November declined more than 20 percent compared to the same month a year earlier, and revenues from ongoing operations declined almost 14 percent. Given the steepening decline in the overall economy, and broader shifts brought on by digital media, there is little reason to believe these declines will stop anytime soon. And subtleties in credit facilities notwithstanding, ongoing double-digit declines do not a viable long-term business make.</blockquote