Credit-ratings agency Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services on Tuesday cut its long-term rating on newspaper publisher The New York Times Co., as its advertising revenue continues to fall.
S&P cut its corporate credit rating and senior unsecured debt rating to “BBB-” from “BBB.”
“BBB-” is one notch above “junk bond” status. The ratings were removed from CreditWatch, but the outlook is negative, meaning another downgrade could occur.
“The rating downgrade reflects a worsening pace of decline in advertising revenue at the company’s newspaper publications,” said S&P credit analyst Emile Courtney in a statement.
Despite weakening ad revenue, The New York Times has a diversified and quickly growing online revenue base. S&P expects online revenue will begin to offset print revenue declines over the next few years.
Shares fell 35 cents to $19.96 during midday trading.