N.Y. Times Co. CEO: ?Wall St. Journal? Discounting Not Hurting ?Times? Ad Sales, Circ

By: Mark Fitzgerald

The New York Times has not been affected by The Wall Street Journal’s new New York City edition and its supposed discounting of ads, Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson told analysts on a conference call Thursday.

Robinson said the flagship paper has not lost any ad schedules as a result of what she called the Journal’s “strategy” of “deep discounting” and “free pages.” The Times has kept its upscale luxury products ads despite the introduction of the Journal’s “Greater New York” local section.

“Circulation has not been affected,” she added.

A spokesperson for Journal parent Dow Jones & Co. did not respond directly to Robinson’s comments about discounting, but said, “We have just concluded our third consecutive quarter with an increase in ad revenue for both print and digital. For the most recent quarter, print was up 9% year-over-year and digital up 19%. Greater New York continues to be a success with both readers and advertisers.”

Before markets opened, the Times Co. reported revenue grew 1.2% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year – the first year-over-year revenue increase since 2007. Earnings per share excluding unusual items jumped to 18 cents a share from 8 cents a year ago.

Analysts survedy by Zacks Investment Research had expected earnings of 14 cents a share.

About an hour after the end of the conference call Times Co. stock (NYSE: NYT) was trading at $9.27, up 22 cents, or 2.4%. NYT has traded in a 52-week range of $6.26 to $14.87.

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