The New York Times enjoyed a bit of good news on the print front as 2Q ad revenues rose 15.1 percent to $48.1M. The paper said that the rebound was largely attributable to the beginning of a post-pandemic recovery for the entertainment and luxury sectors. The rise in print revenues comes despite a nearly seven percent dip (to 716,000) in the number of print subscribers. Digital advertising, while still far ahead of print revenues ($69.3M), saw a 2.4 percent slide from the same period last year. However, digital-only subscriptions rose by about 180,000. Overall, the New York Times Company reported an adjusted operating profit of $76M, down 18 percent from Q2 2021. A large part of the drop in operating losses was due to The Athletic, the sports news site that the paper paid $550M to acquire in February. Adjusted losses for the site were $12.6M for the quarter.
Gannett says it is taking a "significant cost reduction program" following a net loss of $53.7M in the second quarter. That's a significant drop from the net income of $15.M, the owner of USA TODAY and local news operations in 45 states reported in the same period a year earlier. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization totaled $50.9M, down 56 percent from the prior-year quarter. The company says that the drop was driven by a decline in print revenue and inflationary pressures. "Our weakening consumer demand led to larger-than-expected decline in print subscription revenues, effectively pulling forward expected print revenue losses," Gannett CEO and Chairman Michael Reed said in a release. Digital revenue was up 1.5 percent year-over-year, making up 35 percent of total revenue. Reed said cost reductions would primarily focus on Gannett's print business.
Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times editor and columnist who resigned last year to run for governor of Oregon, is returning to the paper. Kristof is expected to resume his column in the Times Opinion section this fall after he finishes a new book. His campaign for Oregon governor was cut short when the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that he did not meet the three-year residency requirement to run for the post. Kristof joined the Times staff in 1984 and, while there, won two Pulitzers—one in 1990 for reporting done with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, on the pro-democracy movement in China and one in 2006 for commentary. "He draws on deep experience as a reporter, an interviewer and a listener, and is committed to pursuing the truth with an open and inquisitive mind and a keen appreciation for context, nuance and accuracy," New York Times opinion editor Kathleen Kingsbury wrote in a note announcing Kristof's return.