Heart-ache: NYT revenue down 20% in November

posted at 4:36 pm on December 24, 2008 by Allahpundit

The bailout cometh.

Ad revenue at the publisher’s New York Times Media Group, which includes the Times newspaper, fell 21.2 percent from a year earlier because of a drop in real estate and jobs classified advertising…

The Times is considering selling some of its properties, but has not yet said which ones.

Internet ad revenue, long a source of hope among newspaper publishers battered by falling print ad sales and circulation, dropped 4 percent in the news media group. That reflects a decline in online jobs and real estate ads.

The last paragraph may hold a clue as to why I’m greeting this news less with schadenfreude than anxiety. I linked Riehl’s post the other day about the Times possibly going bust this year if property values sink far enough that they can’t leverage their holdings sufficiently to cover their current debt, but it’s worth a re-link under the circumstances. As is this New Yorker piece on the demise of newspapers, also via Riehl:

The peculiar fact about the current crisis is that even as big papers have become less profitable they’ve arguably become more popular. The blogosphere, much of which piggybacks on traditional journalism’s content, has magnified the reach of newspapers, and although papers now face far more scrutiny, this is a kind of backhanded compliment to their continued relevance. Usually, when an industry runs into the kind of trouble that Levitt was talking about, it’s because people are abandoning its products. But people don’t use the Times less than they did a decade ago. They use it more. The difference is that today they don’t have to pay for it. The real problem for newspapers, in other words, isn’t the Internet; it’s us. We want access to everything, we want it now, and we want it for free. That’s a consumer’s dream, but eventually it’s going to collide with reality: if newspapers’ profits vanish, so will their product.

Does that mean newspapers are doomed? Not necessarily. There are many possible futures one can imagine for them, from becoming foundation-run nonprofits to relying on reader donations to that old standby the deep-pocketed patron.

More people now get their news from the ‘Net than from print, but the galaxy of competitors online means ad revenue’s necessarily going to be thinner, especially in a recession. Gulp.

Current share price of the Times: $5.99. We should start a pool to pick the date when their stock will cost less than a copy of the paper. Exit question: Deep pockets, influence with nonprofits — did the New Yorker just come up with a fallback career for Princess if this whole Senate thing doesn’t work out?


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Comments

There is a silver lining to this Wall Street carnage after all. Sadly Bush set the stage for endless bail outs. Would love to see the creditors take the NYT from the family, but most likely Obama will come to the rescue.

Faramir on December 24, 2008 at 4:39 PM

Good riddens.

Disturb the Universe on December 24, 2008 at 4:40 PM

Well maybe its the newspapers fault for selling that which can now be gotten for free: information. Maybe they package it nicer, but everything somebody else learns by paying hundreds of dollars a year for in the NYT, I can learn more quickly on the internet.

jimmy the notable on December 24, 2008 at 4:42 PM

Since the “paper of record” long ago ceased to be anything but a shill for Democrats and leftist ideology, I will greet their demise with happiness. I’d like to see the Sulzberger family have to invest all their savings in it trying to keep it from failing, only to see it go down along with their assets. Then, they can find out what it’s like to *be* in the class of citizen that they always “claim” to be fighting for, while enjoying their life of privilege and wealth. That would be true schadenfreude.

Webrider on December 24, 2008 at 4:43 PM

Aw gee! Does this mean I’ll now have to look to the Chicago Tribune as my new source for bird cage bottom liner?

pilamaye on December 24, 2008 at 5:00 PM

well they have that huge untapped leftoid population that must be underrepresented by the newsies to hear their editorial bent tell it…

sven10077 on December 24, 2008 at 5:00 PM

…It’s too late for prayers. For even if the prayers were answered, and a miracle occurred, and the yen did this, and the dollar did that, and the infrastructure did the other thing, we would still be dead. You know why? … New technologies. Obsolescence. We’re dead alright. We’re just not broke. And you know the surest way to go broke? Keep getting an increasing share of a shrinking market. Down the tubes. Slow but sure. You know, at one time there must’ve been dozens of companies making buggy whips. And I’ll bet the last company around was the one that made the best goddamn buggy whip you ever saw. Now how would you have liked to have been a stockholder in that company?…

Other People’s Money (1991)

Zaire67 on December 24, 2008 at 5:05 PM

Zaire67 on December 24, 2008 at 5:05 PM

Love the buggy-whip analogy.

jimmy the notable on December 24, 2008 at 5:10 PM

Love the buggy-whip analogy.

jimmy the notable on December 24, 2008 at 5:10 PM

it’s a good metaphor for why the energy crisis will take care of itself as well…

sven10077 on December 24, 2008 at 5:13 PM

Yeah, if they’re reporting 20% it’s probably around 40%.

Or up 36.2%.

They’ll probably issue a retraction right after any bailout….

BigWyo on December 24, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Please God no Barbara Streisand and Friends tele-a-thon to save the New York Times on prime time network television. That would be a nightmare!

terryannonline on December 24, 2008 at 5:21 PM

They can save themselves with less staff and reporting that reflects a larger cross section of the populace. USA Today is breaking even or slightly losing circulation. Because they provide relevant information and less ideology, less than the NYT anyway.

Theworldisnotenough on December 24, 2008 at 5:27 PM

Funny, but the product the NYT is not buggy whip in the normal sense of the term. News which is their product IS wanted. The problem is the delivery vehicle (the carriage, er printing press) is not. Of course the slant don’t help their situation.

Dr. Dog on December 24, 2008 at 5:30 PM

The Times has become nothing other than a shill for the DNC for the last decade or so. As they stopped reporting and started selling a line, they are doomed.

JIMV on December 24, 2008 at 5:38 PM

I’m not understanding why this one gets the red meat photo.

Count to 10 on December 24, 2008 at 5:42 PM

I’m not understanding why this one gets the red meat photo.

Count to 10 on December 24, 2008 at 5:42 PM

Meh. I prefer the red meat photo to one of Frank Rich.

terryannonline on December 24, 2008 at 5:46 PM

If they just stuck to reporting the news and kept the one-sided editorial comments/articles in the editorial pages where they belonged…or hired writers who didn’t try and screw candidates they didn’t like…or twist the meanings of classic movies…etc. etc. etc.

scalleywag on December 24, 2008 at 5:49 PM

Love it!

artist on December 24, 2008 at 5:50 PM

or rather didn’t hire writers who

scalleywag on December 24, 2008 at 5:50 PM

This is a wonderful Christmas present for honest people!

Evil Pundit on December 24, 2008 at 5:55 PM

Op eds as news are not going over as well now that there is some competition.

jukin on December 24, 2008 at 5:58 PM

This is wonderful news!

Just think, if they brought the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ to newspapers, the NYT may just survive.

Very pleased to see this much deserved reward for their solid journalism.

The Rock on December 24, 2008 at 6:05 PM

Exit question: Deep pockets, influence with nonprofits — did the New Yorker just come up with a fallback career for Princess if this whole Senate thing doesn’t work out?

No, but they came up with the Soroses and the Obamas owning them…wait, they already do. Alas, they came up with an official way of the American Pravda. Now, they are still unofficially our Pravda version.

Entelechy on December 24, 2008 at 6:15 PM

Merry Christmas, with Schadenfreude.

Entelechy on December 24, 2008 at 6:19 PM

How can you justify bailing out a newspaper? They don’t employ that many people. I feel sorry for the printers and the delivery people, but the reporters can all drop dead.

Blake on December 24, 2008 at 6:25 PM

There could be no better Christmas present than the bankruptcy of the Slimes.

It is the most dangerous enemy this country has.

notagool on December 24, 2008 at 6:27 PM

It is the most dangerous enemy this country has.

notagool on December 24, 2008 at 6:27 PM

Very insightful and true!

Entelechy on December 24, 2008 at 6:31 PM

When I think of The NYT going down in flames, I’m reminded of a scene that occurs in about the first half hour of Saving Private Ryan.

In the scene, Americans have finally established a foothold and are beginning to “flush out” the fortified German position with grenades and flamethrowers. At one point, a fortified position becomes engulfed in flames, burning German soldiers try to escape. One American soldier yells, “Don’t shoot! Let ‘em burn.”

Similarly, for The New York Times, no bailouts, no other assistance, and certainly no sympathy. Just let it burn.

BuckeyeSam on December 24, 2008 at 6:33 PM

NYT revenue down 20% in November

And with that… I extend my hand and raise my middle finger to you, New York Times.

Claypigeon on December 24, 2008 at 6:39 PM

Pinch needs to ask his girlfriend for a bailout.

jon1979 on December 24, 2008 at 6:40 PM

Ad revenue is one thing, and it’s great to see it declining for the Times. But it’s been declining for many ad-revenue-based businesses. What I’d like to see is the subscription revenue. Any declines there–and I’m sure they are substantial–can be laid entirely at the doorstep of the NYT and can’t be blamed on the economic situation.

Given their behavior in the last election, I expect a lot of subscription cancellations.

EMD on December 24, 2008 at 6:49 PM

C-YA!
As God as my witness– if they get ANY form of bail out AMERICANS better take action!!

christene on December 24, 2008 at 7:10 PM

Aw gee! Does this mean I’ll now have to look to the Chicago Tribune as my new source for bird cage bottom liner?

pilamaye on December 24, 2008 at 5:00 PM

That’s funny because we have birds and we buy the Sunday Dallas Morning News for mostly the same reason as you. We cut the coupons, read Miss Manners, do the NYT crossword, and line the cockatiel’s cage bottom everyday. The Sunday paper gives us all the news fit to – well, the cockatiels see fit to —- on.

ericdijon on December 24, 2008 at 7:15 PM

Pinch needs to ask his girlfriend for a bailout.

jon1979 on December 24, 2008 at 6:40 PM

You know……….. after looking at that picture, the first thing that came to mind was kinda creepy………… incest.

Don’t worry, Soros will ensure the bailout with our money…. and then control the propaganda as teh Ghey old lady.

Seven Percent Solution on December 24, 2008 at 7:17 PM

New York Times – definition [Shit Paper] – the last piece of toilet paper that left after doing “the deal”

try again later on December 24, 2008 at 7:24 PM

It’s another Festivus miracle.

My collie says:

CC, is it okay if I wrap the fish in these NYT stock certificates?

CyberCipher on December 24, 2008 at 7:26 PM

How can you justify bailing out a newspaper? They don’t employ that many people. I feel sorry for the printers and the delivery people, but the reporters can all drop dead.

Blake on December 24, 2008 at 6:25 PM

Because it is “too big to fail”.>s

Corsair on December 24, 2008 at 8:04 PM

I have a new angle for the NY Times:
Haave honest reporting that covers multiple sides of a story without trying to set an agenda. And have reporters live amongst us hoi polloi in flyover country. Report the facts, and for op-ed columns, employ some who don’t eat brie and sip chardonnay.

rbj on December 24, 2008 at 9:24 PM

Gutem!

wepeople on December 24, 2008 at 9:45 PM

Just wish I could figure out how much of the newsprint downturn is due to this recession and how much is due to people actually walking away from the “dead tree” edition for the cheap seats online. The internet may finally be doing what everyone thought television would do in the late 50′s early 60′s.

Things will get REALLY interesting if we ever hit a full-fledged depression. As AP points out: online revenue that supports our favorite blogs will likely take a real hit as well. Still, unlike The Daily Bugle, would that mean thinner blogs? ;o)

Rethuglican on December 24, 2008 at 10:02 PM

What a waste of trees!

BetseyRoss on December 24, 2008 at 10:09 PM

They mortgaged their credibility years ago with their undying activism for the democratic party.
They just mortgaged their home the other week.

Maybe their idiot friends in hollywood will help them out.
Sh!t,they can’t take care of themselves.

Face it,when the National Enquirer is scooping your worthless butt(John Edwards affair),it’s time to call it a day.

Baxter Greene on December 24, 2008 at 10:17 PM

Please God no Barbara Streisand and Friends tele-a-thon to save the New York Times on prime time network television. That would be a nightmare!

terryannonline on December 24, 2008 at 5:21 PM

No, that would be deliciously hilarious …….

BigWyo on December 24, 2008 at 11:04 PM

The Times is rightly viewed as fishwrap these days. As a former journalist, these stories please me. Mass media in this country deserves to go down in flames. We simply can’t trust the industry to provide reliable news anymore.

Sign of the Dollar on December 24, 2008 at 11:27 PM

A classic from terryannonline. — If only something was really over, though!

An unthinkable thought never spoken…

Their (NYT Editors’) opinions are popular with a large share of their readers. It is New York, after all.

They also believe that they are crusaders. Or whatever a person of European descent might be who hates whites, Christians, the United States, business, firearms, heterosexuals, the military, National Review

Merry Christmas

IlikedAUH2O on December 25, 2008 at 12:37 AM

Merry Christmas

IlikedAUH2O on December 25, 2008 at 12:37 AM

Merry Christmas to you too :)

terryannonline on December 25, 2008 at 12:58 AM

About the only thing worthwhile about the NYT was sporadically decent writing from David Brooks.

Just hope I get to spit on The Old Grey Lady’s grave…

before I dance on it.

paragon27x on December 25, 2008 at 5:40 AM

Anthropologically and historically speaking, the NYSlimes should be kept around — only as archives in libraries. I foresee many theses papers and books being written on ‘Why the NYTimes Failed’.

RickZ on December 25, 2008 at 5:51 AM

Now this is a nice Christmas gift. Best one on the Right (libertarian/conservative), could ever hope for.

ericdondero on December 25, 2008 at 7:37 AM

The line of reasoning that this may somehow be a good thing for the papers, is flawed. What about all the layoffs? They are laying off people left and right, and with less staff on hand, their product will begin to suffer, thus making the product even less valuable, not even valuable as a non-profit reference.

Plus, not only are we seeing papers suffer, but we’re seeing many of them completely going out of business.

ericdondero on December 25, 2008 at 7:46 AM

To quote an Obama confidant: “Dead dead dead dead dead”

And the sooner the better

drjohn on December 25, 2008 at 7:58 AM

drjohn on December 25, 2008 at 7:58 AM

Perfect… Now I know what to chant while doing my dance on that grave.

Thank You!

paragon27x on December 25, 2008 at 9:55 AM

Christmas Challenge

Name a major media player which supported Obama et al and didn’t lose audience share.

Can’t do it? ok, try this:

Name a major media player which retained some real sense of journalistic balance during the last election and didn’t gain audience share?

Can’t do that either can you?

Paul Murphy on December 25, 2008 at 12:30 PM

You know……….. after looking at that picture, the first thing that came to mind was kinda creepy………… incest.

Don’t worry, Soros will ensure the bailout with our money…. and then control the propaganda as teh Ghey old lady.

Seven Percent Solution on December 24, 2008 at 7:17 PM

Pinch’s dad had his own affair back in the 1950s, producing (according to “The Trust”, a bio of the Sulzbergers) a son who was completely disowned by the family. So the adultery thing apparently, like the paper itself, has been passed down from the previous generation.

The problem for newspapers like The Times today is the bigger a story is, the less proprietary it is, and people have literally hundreds of options via other publications, TV and the internet to get the news. It’s only when you get down to the very local level — where this news story or that may only be of interest to a certain group of readers — that newspapers aren’t threatened with alternative coverage, even if a small story may develop into something big later.

The Times’ problem is it’s staffed by a group of reporters who for the most part, think that because they work at The Times they only need to cover the big stories, which is why the paper’s N.Y. Metro effort always seems half-hearted compared to the city’s tabloids (and finding metro reporters who want to stay metro, instead of going to D.C. or overseas, is usually the exception, not the rule). And the paper, led by Pinch, seems to think blurring the line between straight reporting and advocacy journalism is a way to make the paper more “exciting” and lure new readers, mainly because the people they mingle with at Upper West Side cocktail parties like that the slanted Page 1 stories fit their world view.

So the options are to continue going left, alienating over half your potential readership (including those who think the Times is still too far to the right) and becoming basically a money-losing vanity publication kept alive by people like Soros, or going back to more straight reporting, including on less-exciting and more local stories, which might upset the newsroom egos but are ones that aren’t available from a myriad of other locations.

jon1979 on December 25, 2008 at 12:38 PM

Name a major media player which supported Obama et al and didn’t lose audience share.

To be honest I sure there are a bunch of small town newspapers across the country that are struggling to survive and probably didn’t even support a candidate. Most of what is causing the newspaper business problems is just the fact that people are getting their news from elsewhere. However, in The New Times case bias might be playing a very small factor.

terryannonline on December 25, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Merry Christmas, everyone, (and you know who you are)

The blogosphere, much of which piggybacks on traditional journalism’s content, has magnified the reach of newspapers, and although papers now face far more scrutiny, this is a kind of backhanded compliment to their continued relevance.

I think this is exactly right. I have personally read more of the NYT in the past year – all from HotAir links – than in my previous 40 years of life. The New Yorker doesn’t seem willing to clearly explain why, and it’s not rocket science: the good majority of Allah’s links to the NYT are mocking. So, as often as not I think, we are reading the Times more, only to laugh at them, and doing it all for free. This is not a healthy business model.

To be sure – I’m certain there are hundreds of blogs that link the Times as a supporting source for their arguments, too, and this doesn’t make NYT a penny more than our mockery does.

Bottom line: good riddens. And give me October 10th in the pool, after the 3rd Quarter 2009 earnings report shows them bleeding red ink like a stuck pig, and two years of desperate moves to stanch the flow show no results.

Jaibones on December 25, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Aw gee! Does this mean I’ll now have to look to the Chicago Tribune as my new source for bird cage bottom liner?

pilamaye on December 24, 2008 at 5:00 PM

If that’s snark, it’s really good snark. If not, then … dude.

Jaibones on December 25, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Let the NTSlimes go under, good riddance to bad rubbish. If they were a decent paper instead of a Pravda I would be lamenting their hardship, but they’re not. They are a bunch of treasonous socialist elitist punks. They cant die soon enough for me.

doriangrey on December 25, 2008 at 2:06 PM

If you’re going to use raw meat in the headline referencing the NYT, you really ought to use a dead fish.

FlatFoot on December 25, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Heh. Great call. Allah should create a new headline graphic for newspaper post mortem – a dead fish, laying on the front page of the NYT.

Jaibones on December 25, 2008 at 2:42 PM

The New York Times is not the only media company hurting. Shares of News Corporation, owner of The Wall Street Journal and Fox, started out the year at $21.25. Yesterday they could be had for $8.91, down 58% for the year.

Just another useless factoid.

factoid on December 25, 2008 at 2:58 PM

Treason doth never prosper…

profitsbeard on December 25, 2008 at 6:58 PM

Heh. Great call. Allah should create a new headline graphic for newspaper post mortem – a dead fish, laying on the front page of the NYT. Jaibones on December 25, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Let’s make a headline for the last day of the paper. Here’s my humble suggestion.

God New York Times Is Dead

Mojave Mark on December 25, 2008 at 9:02 PM

While there is a really good chance the Times will be in bankruptcy by Christmas 09 (who says there is no Santa Claus?) and there is an excellent chance that Pinch will have to start a new career (probably one that requires him to wear a paper hat and ask if you want fries) there really is no chance the Times will close down. The name is just too valuable. But with some luck the new owners will take it toward the center in an effort to broaden it’s appear.

Fred 2 on December 25, 2008 at 9:35 PM

Unfortunately the NYT will not die. The brand is still strong but management has been weak, or so many believe. Either the paper will go private, or the stock structure could change to allow it to be bought. Whoever buys it may continue to use it for leftist propaganda, but maybe less so to attract some more rightward readers, that is if some less than Marxist persona puts up the cash, say Bloomberg, my own prime candidate. Pinch screwed the greatest source of news and analysis in my lifetime by making it just a mere conduit for his lousy world view. The editorial in 2007 advocating the acceptance of genocide to accomplish a headlong retreat from Iraq was a low point in print journalism and in human decency.

mytralman on December 25, 2008 at 9:48 PM

I don’t think the NYT is going to be extinct any time soon, either. I would like for CNN to go down the toilet, though. This is from a story telling us how much we love Barack, since 80% or so of us “approve of how he’s handling the transition”:

“The bad news for Obama: History shows that presidents usually start to lose support once they assume office and start making the tough decisions. But with eight in 10 currently approving of Obama, he can give away 20 or 30 points and still have a majority of the country on his side. That’s a reservoir of good will that may help him get things done in his first few months on the job,” Holland said.

These people are un-friggin’-believable.

ddrintn on December 25, 2008 at 10:50 PM

The big killer for the papers from the Internet is Craigslist etal. Classifieds paid the bills. Add in the auto industry ills, and you lose another major advertiser. Real estate was the third major ad payer for the newspapers.

To make things worse, the Newsday lies about circulation has made advertisers seriously doubt the circulation numbers of all papers.

LenSp1 on December 26, 2008 at 12:22 AM

Plus, not only are we seeing papers suffer, but we’re seeing many of them completely going out of business.

ericdondero on December 25, 2008 at 7:46 AM

It’s just unbearably sad… *wipes away a tear*

/sarc

DarkCurrent on December 26, 2008 at 8:38 AM

The WSJ reports today that the Times is considering selling their 17% ownership in the Boston Red Sox. I didn’t know they had that. For those who don’t already hate the Sox, here’s a new and compelling reason to root against them.

JiangxiDad on December 26, 2008 at 10:26 AM

The truth sells.

Any questions NYT?

ex-Democrat on December 27, 2008 at 2:35 PM