New York Times Co Class A NYT
Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/22/2010

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, good day and welcome to The New York Times First Quarter 2010 Earnings Conference Call. Today’s call is being recorded. A question-and-answer session will follow today’s presentation. Instructions on how to queue for questions will be provided at that time.

And now for opening remarks and introductions, I’ll turn the conference over to Ms. Paula Schwartz. Please go ahead.

Paula Schwartz - Assistant Director, IR and Online Communications: Thank you, Dahlia, and welcome to our first quarter 2010 earnings conference call. We have several members of our senior management team here to discuss our results with you. They include Janet Robinson, President and CEO; Jim Follo, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Scott Heekin-Canedy, President and General Manager of The Times; and Martin Nisenholtz, Senior Vice President, Digital Operations.

All comparisons on this call will be for the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2009 unless otherwise stated. Our discussion will include forward-looking statements and our actual results may differ from those predicted. Some of the factors that may cause them to differ are included in our 2009 10-K.

Our presentation will also include non-GAAP financial measures, and we have provided reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures in our earnings press release, which is available on our corporate website, at An archive of this call will be available on our website, as will a transcript and a version that’s downloadable to an MP3 player.

With that, let me turn the call over to Janet Robinson.

Janet L. Robinson - President and CEO: Thank you, Paula, and good morning everyone. We were very pleased to report continued strong improvement in our operating performance. In the first quarter, we experienced significant positive trending in both print and digital advertising relative to the fourth quarter. As the quarter progressed, we saw acceleration in the rate of advertiser spending across our newspapers, websites and other platforms, reflecting a firming of economic conditions.

The Company’s continued progress in our long-term strategy to restructure our cost base and reposition our businesses also contributed to the growth in our operating profit. Some of the actions that supported our successful efforts were securing strong performance on costs, with a heightened emphasis on efficiency; diversifying our revenue streams, with particular focus on increasing revenues from our digital sources; leveraging our brand strength to grow profitable circulation revenue, where we believe that strong demand for our high-quality journalism, as demonstrated by The Times’ three newest Pulitzer Prizes, will inevitably lead to increased value; and managing our asset portfolio to strengthen our core operations and enhance our digital presence.

We achieved strong growth in our operating profit, which, excluding depreciation, amortization, severance and a special item in 2009, increased more than five-fold to $83 million in the first quarter from $16 million in the first quarter of 2009. On a GAAP basis, we reported operating profit from continuing operations of $53 million compared with an operating loss of $62 million in the same period of 2009.

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