Times Slashes Dividends, Loses Ad Revenue and Readers; Bias Plays a Part
By Don Feder
Monday November 24, 2008

An article in Advertising Age reports that The New York Times slashed its quarterly stock dividend from 23 cents in the third quarter of 2007 to 6 cents for the same period of 2008.

America’s “newspaper of wretched” is in a steady – and, in some cases, steep – decline. While many factors are involved, clearly, a lot of readers are fed up with the Times’ inveterate bias, highlighted in its coverage of the 2008 campaign.

With the announcement of the dividend cut, shares of New York Times stock fell 6.64% to close at $5.34 on Friday. In the past year, shares of The New York Times Co. have lost a staggering 66.8% of their value.

From October 2007 to October 2008, the paper’s ad revenue fell 16.2%. Most significantly and tellingly, readers continue to turn to other news sources.

Weekday circulation of The New York Times declined from 1.18 million in 1993 to 1.06 million in 2007. This year, circulation is expected to drop below 1 million. The steepest loss of readers was in the New York City market, where circulation plummeted from 757,184 in 1993 to 501,302 last year – a drop of over 25%.

The loss of ad revenue over the past year can in part be attributed to the economy. But what about the decline in readership over a 15-year period, while the population continued to grow?

Disgust at The New York Times’ palpable bias is a factor. As time goes by, The Times has swung further and further to the left – not just in editorials and commentary, but also in what purports to be news coverage. The way The Times became an unofficial adjunct of the Obama campaign is just the most recent, egregious example of how, standing its motto on its head, the paper makes the news fit its agenda.

What’s bad for The New York Times is good for America. May its fortunes continue to decline.



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