NYT Stresses Site's Display Ad 'Growth'


NEW YORK New York Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson preempted questions Tuesday regarding the paid-content debate currently raging through the industry, and shed a little more light on the thinking at the Times during her opening remarks.

During a Q1 earnings call this morning, Robinson pointed out that while digital advertising declined 8 percent in Q1 compared to the same period last year, the company's flagship Web site posted "good growth" in display advertising.

As such, the company wants to tread carefully; walling off content could disturb the progress of online advertising advances.

Robinson disclosed that executives had studied the business models of 30 online organizations and concluded that the Times is doing well in comparison. "We have learned that our advertising model has generated more revenue than the vast majority of organizations, including some much larger than our site," she said, referring to "That said, we're still looking for opportunities to increase revenue without materially affecting the online advertising business."

Also during the call with investors and analysts, Robinson tried to cut listeners off at the pass regarding the " target="_blank">threatened shutdown of The Boston Globe. The New York Times wants its largest New England property to wring out $20 million in costs. Globe management is currently in talks with the guild.

She said the Globe is actively looking for ways to reduce costs in other ways. She declined to comment further when pressed by analysts, including one who asked if the Globe would ever return to profitability.

"We are not really in comment mode," Robinson said. "I will say the Globe management has been very proactive in cost reductions and rate increases in regards to circulation. ... We have always said we don't comment on divestures and business closures."

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