As The NYT Shrinks, The Internet Now Brings Nearly A Quarter Of Its Advertising Revenues

It was another bleak quarter for the New York Times, which keeps on shrinking. The New York Times announced third quarter earnings this morning. Total revenues were down 17 percent to $571 million. Of that advertising revenues decreased 27 percent to $291 million, and the online advertising portion was down 8.2 percent to $68 million.

The earnings report follows yet more newsroom cuts of 100 people announced last week.

There is a ray of hope, though, that the worst may be behind the storied newspaper company. Last quarter, advertising revenues declined an even steeper 32 percent, and online advertising was down 15.5 percent. So maybe this is the first step on its way back to positive territory. Here are the year-over-year declines in online advertising revenues for each of the past four quarters.

Annual Decline In Internet Advertising Revenues

4Q08: -3.5%
1Q09: -6.1%
2Q09: -15.5%
3Q09: -8.2%

Another interesting data point is that because its print advertising revenues are shrinking at a faster rate than its Internet advertising revenues, the Internet portion is actually a bigger percentage (23.5%) of the New York Times’ total advertising revenues than it was year ago (when it was 18.6%). So nearly a quarter of the New York Times’ total advertising dollars now come from online. Depending on which type of advertising recovers faster, that percentage may continue to grow.

(Remember, the New York Times also has circulation revenues, so Internet advertising is still a smaller percentage of total revenues).