N.Y. Times Expects U.S. Attacks to Hurt Sept., 3Q Results

NEW YORK — New York Times Co. posted a sharp decline in advertising revenue at its newspaper group for August, and said it expects the tragic events of last week to drag down September and third-quarter results.

Tuesday’s announcement comes a day after Dow Jones Co. (DJ), the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, warned it might miss earnings expectations for the third quarter because of August’s weak advertising market and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Ad linage at Dow Jones fell 41% in August.

Newspapers, which have been struggling against lagging ad rates this year, are among the many industries expected to be knocked back by the economic aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and Pentagon building in Washington, D.C.

Before last week’s disaster, analysts expected New York Times (NYT) to post earnings of 39 cents a share in the third quarter. In the year-earlier period, the company posted earnings, excluding items, of 37 cents a share.

The newspaper publisher’s pro forma advertising revenue for its newspaper group dropped 17.8% in August. Pro forma advertising revenue excludes seven newspapers and nine telephone directories sold in the second half of 2000.

New York Times said advertising revenue at its flagship New York Times newspaper dropped 20.6% in August, primarily because of softness in technology products, media and telecommunications advertising.

The New England Newspaper Group, which consists primarily of the Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram&Gazette, saw advertising revenue decline 22.6%. National advertising revenue declined mainly because of weaker banking, travel and e-commerce advertising, and classified advertising revenue at the New England group fell as continued weakness in help-wanted advertising was partially offset by ongoing strength in real estate, the publisher said.

At the New York Times newspaper, classified advertising revenue also declined because of continued weakness in help-wanted ads, but the decline was partially offset by growth in real-estate advertising.

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