‘N.Y. Times’ January Ad Rev Up 1.2% In ‘Challenging Market’

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By: E&P Staff

Ad revenues at The New York Times Co. properties increased 1.2% in January compared to the first month of 2004, and total revenues increased 0.2% for the month, the company reported Wednesday.

Advertising revenues at the flagship New York Times Media Group were up 2.3% in January, with the national category increasing on strength in banking, corporate, advocacy and pharmaceuticals advertising. That was offset, the company said, by weakness in hotels, financial services, transportation and telecommunications advertising.

Retail advertising revenues increased, the Times said, because of growth in health and fitness, department store, and fashion and jewelry advertising. Classified advertising revenues increased on strengthening help-wanted and real estate advertising, which was offset by “softness” in automotive advertising.

Starting in fiscal 2005, the New York Times Media Group includes results from its two New York City radio stations.

January ad revenues decreased 3.9% at the New England Media Group, which includes the Boston Globe. The Times said the results were affected by a big snowstorm, plus the fact that the New England Patriots’ participation in the Super Bowl occurred in February this year compared to January in 2004.

The national advertising category was down, on weakness in banking, travel, telecommunications and national automotive advertising, the Times said. Retail advertising revenues rose on growth in office and supply store, and department store advertising, it said. Classified advertising revenues increased as gains in real estate and help-wanted advertising offset softness in automotive advertising, the Times said.

The Times Co.’s Regional Media Group fared the best of all its newspaper units, gaining 5.5% in advertising revenues for January 2005 compared with January 2004. Retail advertising revenues led the way with strength in the telecommunications, sports and recreation, home improvement, electronic, and banking categories. Classified advertising revenues increased as growth in help-wanted and automotive advertising offset softness in real estate advertising, the Times said.

Times Co. Internet ad revenues, which are included in the figures for the three media groups, increased 35% for January 2005 compared with January 2004 due to strong growth in display advertising and in all classified advertising categories, the company said.

“In February, the advertising market continues to be challenging and looking forward, visibility remains limited,” Janet L. Robinson, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Month to date at The New York Times, ad categories experiencing softness include financial services and telecommunications, while banking and financial [business-to-business and] insurance advertising are seeing growth.”

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