Looks Like Buyouts and Push-Outs at The Times Were Indeed Very Expensive

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Updated (10:55 a.m. EST) After a much-publicized and pretty pricey departure of its chief executive, The New York Times's profit dropped 12 percent last quarters, according to The New York Times. The paper's Amy Chozick broke the figures, noting that "rising subscription and digital advertising revenue at its largest newspapers could not offset the continued drop-off in print advertising." 

However, there are some questions about how December's pushing out of former CEO Janet Robinson and a small round of buyouts affected the bottom line. Based on The Times' report, it's unclear if Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy confirmed that those expensive departures are reflected in this quarter's earnings. Based on our estimates, it cost upwards of $20 million to get rid of Robinson and finance the buyouts of 13 senior journalists at the paper, costing a fortune for The Times to cut its costs

"Net income was $58.9 million, or 39 cents a share, compared with $67.1 million, or 44 cents a share, in the period a year earlier." writes Chozick, who pointed to the readers' rush to the Times website and abandonment of their print subscriptions. "Revenue for the fourth quarter declined 2.8 percent, to $643 million. For the year, revenue at the Times Company was $2.32 billion, down 2.9 percent. Operating profit fell 4.5 percent, to $106.7 million, for the quarter and dropped 75.8 percent, to $56.7 million, for the year." These less-than-positive numbers were expected as the paper of record shifts its strategy towards digital. It will surely take some time before the success (or failure) of that strategy to put The Times back in the black.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.