"All the News That's Fit to Print and Post Online" would be a more accurate motto for this media titan. The New York Times Company (The Times Co.) publishes The New York Times. The iconic newspaper, known to many as The Grey Lady, is one of the world's most respected sources of news. The paper boasts a weekday circulation of about 1.3 million. The Times Co. owns The Boston Globe among other big city newspapers and distributes news online through NYTimes.com and other sites. The company sold content portal About Group in late 2012. Chairman Arthur Sulzberger and his family control the firm through a trust.
The Times Co.'s papers are distributed worldwide in print and digital form.
The company's main two divisions are the New York Times Media Group and the New England Media Group. The New York Times Media Group includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune (the “IHT”), NYTimes.com, and related businesses. The New England Media Group includes The Boston Globe, BostonGlobe.com, Boston.com, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette (the “T&G”), Telegram.com, and related businesses.
Advertising struggles, both online in print, have affected the company's revenue in recent fiscal years. The Times Co. reported a little more than $1.9 billion in revenue for fiscal 2012 after bringing in about $2.3 billion in fiscal 2011 and almost $2.4 billion in revenue during fiscal 2010. The drop in total revenue was impacted by divestitures of About Group and the Regional Media Group.
Net income went from a loss of $40 million in fiscal 2011 to a net profit of $133 million in 2012. Net income was boosted by gains on the sale of investments of more than $220 million.
Circulation was up 10% (primarily digital subscriptions) while advertising declined 6% (particularly print advertising, which was down 8%, while digital ad revenue was flat). Because of the decline in advertising and digital initiatives, circulation revenue beat advertising revenue for the first time in the company’s history. Circulation fees accounted for almost 50% of revenue in fiscal 2012, while advertising accounted for about 45% of revenue.
The Times Co. is something of an anomaly in an industry led by diversified media conglomerates (Tribune Co.) and vast newspaper empires stretching coast to coast (Gannett). The company's success hinges on its big city papers attracting readers and advertisers.
The Times Co. has raised cover prices and subscription rates for The New York Times in an effort to make up for declines in print advertising. It is also focused on efforts to reduce costs while investing in its digital media operations to diversify away from expensive print publishing. The company also began charging a subscription fee for access to certain NYTimes.com content early in 2011.
In other activity concerning its digital operations, in 2012 The Times Co. sold About Group to IAC/InterActive for $300 million in cash. The divestiture is part of the company's plans to refocus on its core newspaper and website operations. The Times Co. is working to boost online readership by incorporating video and interactive features into its NYTimes.com website and through media applications for Apple's iPhone and iPad.
In early 2013 the company announced it would explore a sale of the New England Media Group and its 49% equity interest in Metro Boston, which publishes a free daily newspaper in the greater Boston area.
The company’s primary focus going forward is its NYT brand, including expanding the brand’s international reach. The International Herald Tribune is being rebranded as the International New York Times. The Times Co. also plans to introduce more digital products, introduce more mobile initiatives, and expand its events business.