Feb 2, 2017

NYT to Trump on"failing" claims: Not so much, Mr. President

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

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.