Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

The New York Times Co. reported a 4.4 percent rise in 4Q operating profit to $78M on a 1.1 percent spurt in revenues to $508.4M.

CEO Mark Thompson talked up the robust growth in NYT’s digital subscription business.

Paid digital-only subs grew 30.8 percent to 4.4M during the quarter. Print & digital subs hit $5.2M at yearend.

Thompson credited the “extraordinary work of Times’ journalists” for the growth along with the “cross-disciplinary teams who enjoy significant autonomy and access to the machine learning, engineering and testing capabilities they need to move our business forward.”

Of the 342K net new digital subscribers added in the quarter, 232K of them were for the core news product with the balance split between cooking and crosswords subs.

The Times is jacking up the subscription price to “a subset of our tenured digital-only subscription base,” which will be the first price rise since the 2011 launch of the pay model.

Thompson is confident that “our loyal subscribers know that their financial contribution plays an essential role in maintaining the quality, breadth and depth of the report they value so much.”

The Times suffered a 10.8 percent drop to $92.3M in digital advertising during the quarter.

Print ad revenues decreased 10.5 percent to $79M.