Yesterday, the New York Times was awarded 5 Pulitzer Prizes for their exceptional journalism and today they reported a disastrous financial picture. "The owner of The New York Times, The Boston Globe and 15 other daily newspapers said Tuesday that it lost $74.5 million, or 52 cents a share, in the opening three months of the year."
And while declining subscriptions and newspaper sales are a problem, the real hardship is felt in declining advertising revenue. They actually grew circulation revenue by increasing the price of the paper, but are not finding ways to increase advertising. And so the second quarter will not be any better. Costs continue to be trimmed, as are paper sizes but despite many concessions, the situation does not appear to be improving.
So what is next. They have already threatened to shut down one of their papers, The Boston Globe, if union concessions aren't met. But at some point, quality suffers as cost cutting gets extreme.
Perhaps it is time for the NYT and other papers to build synergies with broadcast and cable news networks; perhaps it is time for the NYT to be acquired by CNN or MSNBC; perhaps it is time for print to build more synergies across other media platforms to enhance the advertising value. Or perhaps it is too late. I hope not, I still enjoy reading my morning delivered paper and its different sections of content. But I may have to change my attitude and rely solely on the electronic edition to peruse and enjoy.