New York Times Co. reported a 10 percent rise in Q4 revenues to $484M, driven by the addition of 157K new digital subscribers.The NYT now has more than 2.5M digital subs. Full-year revenue increased eight percent, to $1.7 billion, with subscription revenue hitting $1 billion. But things were not nearly so rosy on the print side. For the year, print advertising revenue slipped 14 percent to $320 million, with an eight percent drop for the fourth quarter. But the Times says it has no plans to discontinue its print operations. “We will go on printing the newspapers as long as it makes economic sense,” said NYT chief executive Mark Thompson.
National Geographic Partners, the joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society, has named Gary Knell CEO, succeeding Declan Moore, who is leaving the company. Knell, who presently serves as chairman of National Geographic Partners, has been president and CEO of the National Geographic Society since 2014. As CEO of NGP, he will have responsibility for all of National Geographic’s storytelling assets, which include television, print and digital ventures, licensing and travel expeditions. “Nobody understands National Geographic better than Gary,” said 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice. “His breadth of media experience, strategic mindset and global perspective make him the perfect leader of the organization.”
Streaming service Hulu recorded a $920 million loss in 2017, a sharp rise from its $531 million loss in 2016. While the company says it closed fiscal year 2017 with 17 million total subscribers (up 5 million from 2016), the rising costs of producing original content for the service resulted in a corresponding rise in the amount of red ink. Disney, whose share in Hulu will rise from 30 percent to 60 percent if its proposed merger with 21st Century Fox goes through, said in a Tuesday earnings call that it expected its share of Hulu’s losses for 2017 to be $250 million more than for the previous year. And if estimates reported in Variety come to pass, Hulu’s losses could hit $1.7 billion for 2018. Disney has announced plans to launch its own streaming service, which would presumably compete with Hulu, in 2019.