The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) reported on Tuesday a $13.6 million net loss for the first quarter of 2016 due to the falling advertising revenue, while digital subscriptions showing robust growth.
Advertising revenue fell about 7 percent, to $140 million in Q1. Print advertising revenue dropped 9 percent, and digital advertising revenue fell about 1 percent, to $42 million. The company added 67,000 net digital-only subscriptions in the first quarter, which is the most in a quarter since the end of 2012. Circulation revenue also increased roughly 2 percent, to $218 million.
Compared to 2015, the net loss for the quarter was roughly the same as in Q1 of 2015. Total revenue fell about 1 percent, to $380 million, from $384 million in the first quarter of 2015. Revenue from digital-only subscriptions increased from $47 million in the first quarter of 2015 to $54 million, a 14 percent growth in 2016.
“We had a more challenging quarter in both print and digital advertising in large part due to conditions impacting the entire advertising marketplace,” said Mark Thompson, president and CEO of The New York Times Company. “We remain confident in our ability to grow our digital advertising revenue in the long term and we are continuing to invest in ad product innovation.” He also mentioned that the company will invest in several areas that will increase revenue and NYT will focus on their cost base.
In addition to the reported loss in Q1, NYT also has other things to worry about. The company faced a third age discrimination lawsuit last week. Two employees in their sixties, claims that the company is looking to have a staff that matches its desired readership profile – young, white, and single. To move forward, NYT will also have to eliminate the negative impression of discriminatory staffing policies.