The New York Times has admitted that ad revenue for the company- including that from its controversial and innovative paywall-protected website- has dropped more than was expected in the third quarter.
At a Goldman Sachs media conference this week, the gray lady’s CEO Janet Robinson said that the ad revenue drop- previously estimated at 4% in Q3- was more like 8%. While print revenues were down 10%, web revenues saw a 2-3% drop in the second to last fiscal quarter.
In an interview this week, NYT executive editor Jill Abramson pinned the higher than expected revenue losses on a persistently down economy as well as shakiness in normally less-affected areas (real estate, cars and job classifieds.)
Reuters quoted the exec as optimistic- but Abramson stopped short of ruling out further cuts at the site and the broadsheet:
“The economy is so uncertain at this point — I certainly haven’t been told by anybody that there will be specific consequences of any economic trends right now. But it’s a very cloudy economy…” She added she believed the paper was “in a good position right now” due to the paper’s Web subscription plan guaranteeing revenue from “a loyal audience” who “think the news that we have is worth paying for.”
In Q2, the paywall-protected Times site clocked nearly 225,000 paid subscribers.