Old, New Media Companies Suffer Losses

The New York Times and Yahoo each released first quarter earnings Tuesday — and the news was not good. With advertising dollars down sharply, both new and old media companies, are trying to battle through a poor economy.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

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MONTAGNE: Two big-name media companies that depend on advertising continue to have a tough time. The New York Times and Yahoo both said advertising revenue in the most recent quarter fell sharply. Yahoo also said it's planning another round of layoffs, this time involving nearly 700 people. NPR's Wendy Kaufman has more.

WENDY KAUFMAN: This week, the New York Times won five Pulitzer Prizes, but the number that investors were looking at was 74.5 million. That's the amount of money the New York Times Company lost in the first three months of the year. Advertising revenue was off 27 percent from a year ago. Spending on classified ads, the traditional lifeblood of the newspaper industry, was down a stunning 45 percent. Advertisers were spending less at Yahoo as well, as noted by company CEO Carol Bartz during a conference call.

Ms. CAROL BARTZ (CEO, Yahoo): First, we believe a trend we are experiencing now is typical of a recession. When companies are forced to cut costs, marketing is generally among the first expenses to be reduced.

KAUFMAN: Bartz, who's been CEO for just a hundred days, is restructuring the company and expects to see advertisers return when the economy picks up. Yahoo reported its first-quarter earnings yesterday. The company posted a profit, albeit a small one. Meanwhile, the New York Times says it's exploring ways to generate more money online, including charging for some digital content.

Wendy Kaufman, NPR News.

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