San Francisco Chronicle

N.Y. Times growth slows

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No doubt, President Biden has lowered the temperatur­e of the nation after four years under former President Donald Trump, a tumultuous period capped by the worst pandemic in a century. He may have also lowered interest in the news. For the first quarter, The New York Times Co. recorded its smallest gain in new subscriber­s in a year and a half.

The Times reported a total of 7.8 million subscriber­s across both print and digital platforms, with 6.9 million coming for online news or its Cooking and Games apps. The company added 301,000 digital customers for the first three months of the year, the lowest increase since the third quarter of 2019.

The Times is still on a path toward its goal of reaching 10 million subscriber­s by 2025, and it has improved its profit margins as its digital business — which costs less than print — continues to rise.

The company reported adjusted operating profit of $68 million, a 54% jump from last year, as it generated more dollars from each subscriber, partly because of the expiration of promotiona­l rates as the new year rolled over. Total revenue rose modestly, about 6.6%, to $473 million. Online subscripti­ons and digital advertisin­g together rose 32%, to $239 million, and the print business continued its steady decline.

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