The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) is considering a $100-150 million impairment charge for its troubled New England Media Group because times continue to be tough and are getting tougher. That's the rough translation of "continued softening of business conditions driven by the secular forces affecting the newspaper industry." CEO Janet Robinson's explanation in the earnings release (we'll have more from the call): "The impairment charge reflects the decrease in print advertising revenues stemming from the secular changes in the media industry. ... The decline in print advertising revenues this quarter accelerated as the economy slowed."The impairment testing means today's Q3 report is only preliminary. The final numbers will be included in SEC filings.
Meanwhile, cost-cutting in the form of severance helped push the company to the red for Q3. The loss of $.01 per share includes $.07 per share in severance; half of the $18.1 million in severance costs are related to the shutdown of the retail and distribution subsidiary. Total revenue dropped to $687 million, down 8.9 percent year over yearprimarily due to print decreases. Overall advertising declined 14.4 percent, despite a 10.2 percent increase in online advertising. Online now accounts for 12.4 percent of the company's revenues. More to come.
By Staci D. Kramer