Digital Advertising Revenues Ease the Pain at The New York Times Co.

NewYorkTimesLogo.jpgThe New York Times Co. reported its fourth-quarter and full-year-2009 results Wednesday, and growth in digital advertising was a rare bright spot in that sector, as an 11 percent jump in digital advertising revenue in the fourth quarter versus the year-ago period eased the blow of a 20 percent plunge in print advertising, keeping the decline in total advertising revenues at 15 percent.

Internet businesses accounted for 15 percent of the company’s total revenues in the fourth quarter versus 12 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The company’s Internet businesses — including,,, and other Websites — posted fourth-quarter revenues of $102 million, up 10.3 percent from $92.5 million in the previous-year period, and ad revenues of $90.6 million, up 10.6 percent from $81.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

For full-year 2009, Internet revenues fell 4.1 percent to $337.4 million from $351.6 million in 2008, and Internet advertising revenues were down 4.6 percent to $294.5 million from $308.7 million. Internet advertising revenues at the News Media Group dropped 10.9 percent to $179.3 million from $201.2 million, and Internet businesses accounted for 13.8 percent of the company’s revenues in 2009 compared with 12 percent in 2008.

President and CEO Janet Robinson said:

We were pleased to see advertisers increase their rate of spending across our newspapers, Websites and other platforms as advertising trends improved during the fourth quarter. Our results also reflect our ability to restructure our cost base, introduce new products and innovations, leverage our brand strength, and extend our reach to new audiences.

While the advertising market remains challenging, the rate of decline across the major advertising categories — national, retail, and classified — lessened as the quarter progressed.