The New York Times added 276,000 net new digital news subscriptions in Q4, more than all of 2013 and 2014 combined. Digital-only subscriptions increased 21.9% from Q4 2015.

The truth behind the Trump bump: Times CEO Mark told investors on their quarterly earnings call that the increase was largely due to piqued interest in coverage of Trump after the election, including from international subscribers.

The Times' Chief Revenue Officer Meredith Kopit Levien reminded investors that the revenues from those subscriptions are skewed to reflect discounts that are always offered to new subscribers, and investors should expect to see the average revenue per user (RPU) increase once those subscribers are renewed to standard subscription cost structures.

By the numbers:

  • Average revenue per subscriber in Q4: $13-14 USD
  • $439.7 million in revenue vs. $438 million expected
  • 9.7% drop in advertising revenue vs. 8% expected
  • 6% YOY increase total digital revenue (10.9% YOY increase in digital ad revenue)
  • 20.4% YOY decline in print advertising revenue

Despite heavy print declines, The New York Times' yearly digital revenue and circulation continued to increase in 2016, largely due to piqued interest in election coverage during the second half of Q4.

The Times also announced Thursday a 20.4% print advertising revenue drop in 2016, which largely drove the 9.7 percent drop in total advertising revenue for the year.

What had Mark Thompson Buzzing: Despite YOY revenue losses, Times CEO Mark Thompson proudly announced that the company had surpassed three million paid subscriptions (print and digital) as of Thursday. "This is an important moment for us."

For investors: The Times announced adjusted diluted earnings per share at $.30 for Q4 2016 compared with $.37 in Q4 2015. Operating profit decreased to $55.6 million in Q4 2016 from $87.7 million in Q4 2015, largely due to lower print advertising revenues and higher operational costs.

What caught our attention: The company also announced they will be spending $50 million in expenditures to reconfigure their office space as they downsize, and some employees will have to temporarily relocate to offices in Midtown. The Times announced last year that they would be vacating at least eight floors in their iconic midtown space to drive down expenditures.

Go deeper

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes.

  • A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

  • With a firm moderator, NBC News' Kristen Welker — along with threats of mic cutoffs and advisers' pleas for Trump to cool it — voters finally heard clear contrasts.
  • Trump swung several times, but never quite landed a punch as he tried to connect Biden to a nebulous cloud of allegations about business dealings by his son Hunter.

Between the lines: Trump didn't focus on assuring women voters or seniors. But his economic argument could reassure some men in swing states.

  • Trump went back to 2016 mode — the outsider, chiding career politicians. But he's one of them now.

During an exchange about race in America, Trump said: "Nobody has done more for the black community than Donald Trump, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln — possible exception. ... I'm the least racist person in this room."

  • Biden retorted sarcastically, referring to Trump: "Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history."


Reporting was contributed by Stef Kight, Alexi McCammond, David Nather and Hans Nichols.

Biden to Trump: "I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life"

Former VP Joe Biden pushed back Thursday against allegations from President Trump, saying he had never profited from foreign sources. "Nothing was unethical," Biden told debate moderator Kristen Welker about his son Hunter's work in Ukraine while he was vice president.

Why it matters: Earlier on Thursday, Hunter Biden's former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, released a statement saying Joe Biden's claims that he never discussed overseas business dealings with his son were "false."

Trump claims COVID "will go away," Biden calls his response disqualifying

President Trump repeated baseless claims at the final presidential debate that the coronavirus "will go away" and that the U.S. is "rounding the turn," while Joe Biden argued that any president that has allowed 220,000 Americans to die on his watch should not be re-elected.

Why it matters: The U.S. is now averaging about 59,000 new coronavirus infections a day, and added another 73,000 cases on Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The country recorded 1,038 deaths due to the virus Thursday, the highest since late September.