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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

As New York Times Digital Sets Records, The Parent Falters


As The New York Times company warned on earnings, its online properties set audience records. According to Comscore, New York Times Digitial had an aggregate 40.5 million unique users in September, up 20% from a year ago. It also ranked 9th among all sites measured for US audience size.

In the meantime, the company's patent is bleeding to death. JP Morgan has just cut the newspaper company's stock from "neutral" to "underweight". Wall St. expects revenue to be below last year's $791 million. And, EPS estimates are for $.12 compared to $.21 in the third quarter of 2005.

With an audience of over 40 million unique users, where is the contribution from the digital side of the NYT house? CNET, which has a smaller audience, had revenue of $353 million last year. The, with a much smaller audience, did $34 million.

This year, the NYT will probably have revenue of slightly over $3 billion. While no one would expect the company to have revenue like Yahoo!'s at $5.3 billion, with about a third of the unique visitors it would not be too much to ask for the digital properities to kick in $500 million.
And, they probably aren't.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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