Online Revenues Surge At Times

Online revenue growth continued to overtake print in the third quarter for the New York Times Company, according to its earnings report released Wednesday.

For the Times Media Group's Internet properties, ad revenues were up 30.5 percent, while ad revenues generated by About.com grew by a solid 67 percent. About.com brought in an operating profit of $3.8 million on total third-quarter revenue of $14.2 million.

"Our News Media Group's Internet properties recorded very robust advertising revenue growth in the quarter," CEO Janet Robinson stated in the report. "To date in October, total advertising revenues for the News Media Group are growing at a rate similar to that for the month of September."

Overall, net income at the Times Company--which publishes The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the International Herald Tribune, among other properties--plunged 52 percent to $23.1 million, or 16 cents a share, in the third quarter compared to $48.3 million, or 33 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue increased 2.2 percent to $791.1 million in the third quarter--but, excluding revenue generated by About.com, revenue rose just 0.4 percent. Also, while the Times Co. reported an overall 4.4 increase in ad sales in September year-over-year, ad sales rose just 1.6 percent in September when excluding About.com's contribution.

Robinson expressed her satisfaction with the property that the Times Company bought from Primedia in March for $410 million. "We continue to be very pleased with About.com," she said in the report.

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