On a morning where the New York Times Company’s stock hit its 52-week low at $10.39, Times Company CEO Janet Robinson used the most palatable phrase she could find—"a continuing softness"—to describe the bleak third quarter results to investors today.
In all, the Times Company’s net income dropped 51 percent this quarter versus 3Q 2007, revenues were down 8.9 percent, advertising revenue was down 14 percent.
Ms. Robinson said that luxury advertising was one of the things that saved the advertising numbers from being worse (T magazine, thank you very much); it made up 13 percent of total advertising revenue.
Lots of jobs have been cut this year at the Times Company—and more cuts are on the way—and up to this point NYT Co. has paid out $56.9 million in severance packages.
Times execs also announced that they are considering cutting the company’s dividend, one of the last reliable places for income for the Sulzberger-Ochs clan, and for increasingly desperate shareholders. Last year they increased the dividend more than 30 percent; it’s also what reserved a $25.1 million pool of cash for the family a year.
Moody’s said that if they don’t cut the dividend, the Times is perilously close to getting a junk bond status, which won’t be good for anyone.