Boston Globe sale hits coffers of evolving New York Times Company

The New York Times Company fell into the red in the third quarter, attributable in large part to the sale of the New England Media Group, which included The Boston Globe. Digital subscription gains helped produce a slight increase in overall revenue.

The New York Times Company fell into the red in the third quarter, attributable in large part to the sale of the New England Media Group, which included The Boston Globe. Digital subscription gains helped produce a slight increase in overall revenue.

The Times Co said it made a loss of $US24 million ($25.3 million), a reversal from the previous third quarter when the company posted a $US2.7 million profit.

The third-quarter figures reflect the impact of the sale of New England Group and related factors such as tax expense. The Times Co agreed in August to sell the group for $US70 million to John Henry, the owner of the Boston Red Sox, and completed the deal last week.

Total revenue for the third quarter rose 1.8 per cent, to $US361.7 million. Advertising revenue fell 2 per cent to $US138 million, the lowest year-on-year quarterly decline in three years. Print advertising revenue declined by 1.6 per cent. Digital advertising revenue shrank 3.4 per cent, to $US32.8 million.

A bright spot was circulation, with revenue growing 4.8 per cent. The number of paid subscribers to the company's digital-only packages was 727,000, a jump of more than 28 per cent.

Mark Thompson, the Times Co's chief executive, said the company had made encouraging progress.

"We increased our revenue, decreased our costs and, as a result, significantly increased our operating profits compared with the same quarter last year," he said.

The Times Co has undergone a transformation in recent years by selling off peripheral assets and focusing on its core brand, The New York Times newspaper and website. In 2012, it sold 16 regional newspapers and other assets.

The company has now started to focus on expanding globally. This month, it renamed The International Herald Tribune as The International New York Times and continued its plans to expand its international footprint. "We also made significant progress on our strategic initiatives," Mr Thompson said.