While newspapers of all sizes have been under unrelenting financial pressure over the last decade, one of the country’s leading newspapers appears to have finally entered a period of financial stability. Even if it is built on a business model radically different from even just a few years ago.
The New York Times Co. reported substantial growth in both digital advertising and digital circulation revenues, the latter including digital subscriptions, driving an overall increase in quarterly revenues.
NYTCO’s total revenues increased 6% from $364 million in the third quarter of 2016 to $386 million in the same period this year, due to an 11% increase in digital ad revenues, to $49 million, and a 13.6% increase in subscription revenues.
Revenue from digital-only subs was up 46%, reaching $86 million.
On the negative side of the ledger, print advertising tumbled 20%, contributing to a 9% overall decrease in ad revenues, from $125 million to $114 million.
The jump in digital circ revenues reflected the addition of 154,000 net digital subscribers, which covers a range of paid subs. Some are for limited access, for example, to NYT crosswords or its Cooking app, while its core news subscription program added 105,000.
Across all categories, the newspaper now has 2,487,000 digital-only subscribers, up 59% from 1,563,000 in September 2016.
The picture isn’t quite as sunny for other big newspaper publishers.
This week, McClatchy Co. reported that total revenues fell 9.4% from $235.7 million in the third quarter of 2016 to $212.6 million in the third quarter of this year. As in previous quarters, the decline was due, in part, to the ongoing drop in advertising revenues, down 13% to $115.3 million. The ad declines came despite an 8.2% increase in digital-ad revenues for the quarter.
McClatchy’s audience revenues, including circulation and digital subscriptions, fell 4.3% to $87.1 million. On a happier note, McClatchy’s total digital subscribers increased 15.6% to 92,800 at the end of the quarter.
A.H. Belo, publisher of The Dallas Morning News, reported that total revenues fell 6.5% from $64.8 million in the third quarter of last year to $60.6 million this year. Advertising and marketing revenues fell 9% to $34.9 million, while circulation revenue decreased 4% to $18.8 million.