Whenever someone gives us the choice, we always pick hearing the bad news first, so here it is: The New York Times profit fell by 57 percent in the first quarter, dropping from $12.8 million in 2010 to $5.4 million this year. The culprit once again is lagging print advertising sales. Okay, digest that for a minute. Go ahead, have another sip of coffee. Also, you’ve got a piece of bagel stuck to your chin.
Okay! Now, on to the good news: The first stats on the paper’s paywall subscribers are in, and over 100,000 people have already signed on. That’s a promising sign for the Times, as Janet L. Robinson points out:
While the challenges for our company and for the larger economy are not yet behind us, the recent launch of the Times digital subscription packages on NYTimes.com and across other digital platforms brings our plan for a new revenue stream to life, offering us another reason for optimism about the future.
See? All is not lost. It’s still early, but hopefully the paywall gives the Times some life.