The New York Times Co.’s demand that the Boston Globe’s unions come up with $20 million in concessions may have gotten a boost this morning, as the company reported that advertising revenues at its New England Media Group — the Globe, Boston.com and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette — are down 31.6 percent.
According to the Times Co.’s latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, advertising revenues at the New England group for the first quarter of 2009 were a shade under $55.7 million. Overall, revenues for the group were nearly $104.5 million, a drop of 20.6 percent from the first quarter of 2008.
Though the Times Co. does not break out separate numbers for the Worcester paper, they are thought to be a small proportion of the New England group’s overall income and expenses.
One interesting aspect of the report is that the Globe does not stand out as a particular drag on the company. Ad revenues are down 27.3 percent at the New York Times Media Group (the Times and NYTimes.com) and 29.3 percent at the Regional Media Group, which comprises smaller papers, mainly in the South.
Yes, things are worse in New England, but not by that much. So if folks at the Globe are inclined to feel that New York is picking on them, this may give them some ammunition.
Overall, this is pretty ugly. The Times Co. lost $74.5 million during the first quarter, compared to just $335,000 a year ago. Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson predicts a miserable second quarter as well.
“In time, however, we believe that the economy will grow and the advertising market will improve,” Robinson said in a prepared statement, according to the Associated Press. “While we are looking forward to that day, we are not waiting for it.”