New York Times Co. reported on Thursday that revenue slipped almost 1 percent as gains in subscriptions to its flagship and other newspapers could not offset declines in advertising.
Total revenue for the second quarter was $485.4 million compared with analysts' estimates of $487.43 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Advertising revenue — both print and digital — fell 6 percent from the same quarter a year ago to $207.4 million.
The company, as well as the entire newspaper industry, is battling against a relentless decline in advertising - once a primary source of revenue for most newspapers.
To combat the decline, the New York Times rolled out a subscription model for its digital products to tap a new revenue stream. Circulation revenue rose 5 percent to $245.1 million in the quarter, which includes paid digital subscriptions at its flagship and Boston Globe properties.
At the New York Times and its international edition, once known as the International Herald Tribune, digital only subscriptions increased 35 percent year over year to 699,000.
While circulation revenue now accounts for half of total revenue, it still can't stanch the drop in advertising revenue.
The decline this quarter in advertising revenue moderated compared to the first quarter, when it fell 11.2 percent.
"The increase in operating profit reflects the ongoing evolution of our digital subscription initiatives on the circulation side, the moderation of revenue declines on the advertising side and the continued focus on managing costs," New York Times Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson said in a statement.
The company publishes its namesake newspaper and the Boston Globe.
It is currently shopping The Boston Globe and its sister Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the last remaining pieces of the New York Times — once a much larger empire that had TV, radio, magazines, dozens of newspapers and stakes in sports ventures.
Total operating profit for the second quarter was $53.4 million compared with $44.1 million in the same period a year before.
Excluding items, earnings per share of 14 cents beat analysts' estimates by two cents.
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