This story was written by Joseph Weisenthal.
Pulling out some of the key digital points from today's NYTCo (NYSE: NYT) earnings release and conference call CEO Janet Robinson noted that management was in agreement with Harbinger on the need to accelerate investment into digital. She also hinted that there could be some digital M&A in the works as part of this acceleration, and its desire to keep the company's portfolio "balanced". Digital chief Martin Niesenholtz noted that there was no easy way to make a needle-moving digital acquisition (without breaking the bank).
-- Traffic: Traffic is up strong at NYTimes.com, though Niesenholtz rejected a suggestion that this was mainly due to interest in the election. Instead, it's more about SEO and the opening up of the archives: "search has become the dominant entry way We have something like 16 or 17 million articles."
-- QuadrantOne: On the the company's new industry-wide ad network, Niesenholtz argued that the differentiator would be quality of content: ">ost ad networks that exist today, advertising.com is probably the best example, provide inventory around thousand of sites. That inventory is uneven.... QuandrantOne can ensure all advertisers that 100 percent of the content (ius) really a quality story." He noted that other national ad networks appealed to direct marketers, whose main interest was simply ad arbitrage.
-- About.com: As noted in the release. About.com revenue was up 25 percent to $28.2 million. However, Robinson said that without acquisitions, revenue would have only been up 16 percent (to $26.1 million). So acquisitions contributed an incremental 2.1 million in reenue in the quarter.
By Joseph Weisenthal