Thompson: Circ Rev Outpaced Ad Rev At NYT

For the first time ever in The New York Times Co.'s history, circulation revenue surpassed advertising revenue, Times CEO Mark Thompson said today during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call. Thompson also said the Times' expanding digital subscriber base has provided the company with a "meaningful revenue stream."

Mark Thompson, on his first earnings call since joining The New York Times as CEO last November, said circulation revenue surpassed advertising revenue for the first time in the company’s history.

The revelation points to both the decline of ad revenue for newspapers in general and the reported success of the Times' paywall. Thompson indicated that the company was in the midst of creating new approaches to reverse that trend.

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“In recent months, we’ve worked intensively to develop strategies that we believe will enable the company’s revenues from digital advertising to not just stabilize but to grow,” he said.

In the meantime, the decline in ad revenue was offset somewhat by its expanded digital subscriber base. “The success of the digital subscription model … provides us with a meaningful revenue stream to put alongside the resilience and loyalty of our print subscribers.”

Thompson also hinted at a new strategy for the company.

“The strategy will aim not just to optimize existing operations, but to leverage our brands, above all The New York Times brand,” Thompson said. And will build on “the great strength of our newsrooms to deliver both revenue and profitability growth.”

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He promised to expand on the new strategy, as well as the company’s plans to expand into foreign markets during NYTCo’s April earnings call.

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