New York Times warns on ad bookings due to coronavirus fears

New York Times warns on ad bookings due to coronavirus fears


Mark Thompson, CEO, The New York Times, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 23, 2020.

Adam Galasia | CNBC

The New York Times Co. says it’s seeing a slowdown in advertising bookings due to “uncertainty and anxiety” caused by the coronavirus, according to a regulatory filing issued Monday.

The company said it has “begun to see see some economic impact” from the virus. CEO and President Mark Thompson plans to comment on the virus’ impact Monday morning at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, the filing said.

Shares in the New York Times Co. were down 4% Monday morning.

The filing also says that the company’s subscription business is expected to continue growing, despite the advertising headwinds.

“Unlike many news publishers, our business is heavily skewed towards subscriptions rather than advertising,” the filing says. “We’ve seen no adverse impact on subscription growth, or on the expected rise in subscription revenue, which remains strong and consistent with the guidance we gave in our most recent earnings call.”

However, the company said it’s seeing a slowdown in international and domestic advertising bookings, which it is associating with the virus. The New York Times expects total advertising revenues to decline “in the mid-teens” in the current quarter, with digital ad revenues expected to decline 10%. The company said it doesn’t intend to provide further updates on guidance until it releases first-quarter 2020 results in May. 

The company announced fourth-quarter 2019 results in early February, reporting advertising revenues that decreased 10.7% in the quarter.


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