April Ad Revenues Drop 3.6% At NYT Co. Papers

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By: E&P Staff

April continued to be the cruelest month for newspapers. Thursday, The New York Times Co. reported advertising revenues from continuing operations fell 3.6% during the month compared to April 2006, and overall revenues decreased 2.2%.

Worst hit was the Times Regional Media Group, which includes mid-sized dailies, many in Florida where the real estate slow-down has hammered classified.

Ad revenues for the Regional Media Group dropped 9.1%, the Times Co. said. Retail advertising revenues fell on weakness in home furnishing, bank and office store advertising that was only partly offset by increases in medical/dental advertising and in preprints. Classified revenues were down on weakness in help-wanted, real estate and automotive.

At the group including the flagship The New York Times, ad revenues fell 3.8%. The Times Co. said the national category fell on weakness in national automotive, pharmaceutical, telecommunications and advocacy advertising that was only partly offset by growth in the financial services, cosmetic manufacturer/store and corporate categories.

Retail advertising revenues decreased on softness in fine arts, home furnishing stores, direct electronics and department store advertising.

Classified advertising revenues at the Times dropped on weakness in real estate and automotive advertising. Help-wanted ad revenue was up, the company said.

At the New England Media Group including The Boston Globe, ad revenues were down 3.3%.

National advertising revenues, however, increased on growth in the pharmaceutical/packaged goods, travel and telecommunications categories that offset weakness in financial services advertising.

Retail was down on softness in furniture/home furnishing, sports/toys and food/drug advertising, and increased in the apparel/footwear, jewelry/watches and home improvement categories.

New England classified advertising revenues decreased because of weakness in real estate, automotive and help-wanted advertising, the company said.

Internet ad revenues, which are included totals for the three groups, grew 15.6% in April on strength in both display and classified.

Ad revenues for About.com were up 26.6% in the month on strength in both display and cost-per-click advertising. Display advertising increased primarily because of strength in the Internet media, financial services and pharmaceutical categories, the company said.

The Times Co. reported that TimesSelect, the paid content on The New York Times Web site, has about 724,000 subscribers, with about 31% paying for online-only subscriptions, and about 9% receiving it free as college students and educators.

Circulation revenues for April decreased 0.7%, with results about flat at The New York Times Media Group, and down at the New England and Regional Media Groups.

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