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New York Times reports lower revenue on ad slide

A taxi passes by in front of The New York Times head office in New York, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A taxi passes by in front of The New York Times head office in New York, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

(Reuters) - New York Times Co reported a decline in quarterly revenue as the newspaper publisher continues to struggle with weak advertising sales.

The 11.2 percent drop in advertising revenue in the first quarter underscores the pressure that the New York Times faces to increase its subscription revenue, especially for its digital products.

As such, the company also said on Thursday that it would roll out a line of lower-priced products to attract more readers around the world.

"We want to deepen our relationship with our existing loyal customers, but we also want to use a wider family of New York Times products to reach new customers both here and around the world," Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson said in a statement.

Paid subscriptions to digital products at the company's namesake paper and The Boston Globe totaled 708,000 in the first quarter, a 45 percent increase from a year earlier.

Circulation revenue rose 7 percent, but that was not enough to offset a decrease in print and digital ad revenue. Total revenue for the company fell 2 percent to $465.9 million, below analysts' expectations of $470.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Earnings per share from continuing operations of 2 cents compared with 6 cents a year earlier.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Lisa Von Ahn)

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