New York Times adds subscribers, digital ad revenue slides

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Times Co. continued to add new subscribers in the third quarter, but advertising revenue slid as the company noted "turbulence" in the digital-ad market. Profit fell overall.

The newspaper publisher has successfully reoriented itself toward digital subscriptions, with a goal of 10 million total subscriptions by 2025. The company said Wednesday it remained on track for that goal, with 4.9 million subscribers. Of those, 3 million pay only for the digital-news version of the paper. Subscription revenues grew 3.7% to $267.3 million.

However, advertising revenue fell 6.7% to $113.5 million. Print-ad revenue, long in decline with the shift in consumer attention to the internet, dropped 7.9%. Digital-ad revenue fell 5.4% as there were fewer large ad deals made.

The company said it expects digital advertising to remain "challenging" this quarter. The Times also said that changes it has made to try to limit tracking of its users' data by advertisers is at the moment affecting its ad revenue.

Publishers have long griped about the growing dominance of tech giants Facebook and Google on the digital-ad industry. Facebook has tried recently to make nice with publishers, offering many of them licensing fees for providing headlines, story summaries and links to their stories for a news section of the social network.

On Wednesday New York Times CEO Mark Thompson said the deal brings new users to The Times and was of "strategic significance" because it was "the first time that a Silicon Valley major has recognized the value of Times journalism to its platform with a substantial multiyear fee."

Overall, The New York Times Co. reported that third-quarter net income fell 34% to $16.4 million, or 10 cents per share. The ad decline dragged on profit, as did investments in content and digital products. Revenue rose 2.7% to $428.5 million.

New York Times shares slid 3.5% in morning trading. They had climbed 43% since the beginning of the year.

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Parts of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap ) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on NYT at https://www.zacks.com/ap/NYT