Tags: Times | Co | Troubles

New York Times Taking a Beating

By    |   Thursday, 29 Nov 2007 01:09 PM

There’s trouble all around for the New York Times — the paper has announced a hiring freeze and has cut staffers while its stock takes a beating on Wall Street.

In a memo sent to employees on Wednesday, the Times’ Executive Editor Bill Keller stated: “As we approach 2008, it is clear that the newsroom is going to have to do even more to tighten spending, and to help the publisher and the Times Company meet the difficult financial challenges facing our industry.”

The paper is eliminating about a dozen support positions and trimming “a number of” clerical and secretarial jobs, according to the memo obtained by Reuters.

Keller also told employees: “We put into place a hiring freeze several weeks ago, and except for those jobs that are critically important to our future ambitions, we will be trying to fill [the fired workers’] positions internally.”

Also on Wednesday, an analyst with Banc of America Securities downgraded shares of the newspaper’s parent, the New York Times Co., lowering its rating from “neutral” to “sell.”

Analyst Joe Arns said the company is his least favorite in the newspaper publishing sector, and lowered his target price on the stock from $21 to $14.

In addition to the Times, the company also publishes the Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune and 15 other dailies.

Arns estimated that ad revenue in the newspaper industry will likely drop 9 percent next year as a collapse in the housing market and a hiring slowdown reduce the demand for classified advertising.

He also stated that luxury advertising, which accounts for almost a third of the Times’ national ad revenue, could drop if the U.S. experiences a recession.

A slowdown in financial services spending could hurt the company as well, according to Arns, because about half of its revenue comes from business centers New York and Boston.

Shares of the company have fallen 31 percent this year, and dropped to as low as $16.02 on Wednesday morning.

But New York Times Co. Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. managed to sell 4,500 shares of his common stock in the firm before the latest drop in price.

He sold the shares on Nov. 20 and 21 for $17.70 and $17.75 a share, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A Times spokesperson said the sales were routine sales made every year for philanthropic purposes.

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There’s trouble all around for the New York Times — the paper has announced a hiring freeze and has cut staffers while its stock takes a beating on Wall Street.In a memo sent to employees on Wednesday, the Times’ Executive Editor Bill Keller stated: “As we approach 2008, it...
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2007-09-29
Thursday, 29 Nov 2007 01:09 PM
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