Moody’s Places NYT Co. on Ratings Review

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By: E&P Staff

Moody’s Investors Service placed The New York Times Co. on a ratings watch, which could mean a downgrade on the company’s Baa1 senior unsecured and Prime-2 commercial paper ratings.

The review comes on the heels of company’s double-digit ad revenue declines in December and January.

“The current pace of revenue declines are more than Moody’s had anticipated for 2008,” wrote Moody’s lead analyst John Puchalla.

The ratings firm disclosed it is going to keep an eye on the New York Times’ ability to reduce operating costs above the previously announced $230 million in 2008 and 2009 and the company’s plan for free cash flow.

Puchalla wrote Moody’s will monitor the Harbinger/Firebrand proxy fight but it’s not “integral” to the review.

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