Battered by diminishing print ad revenue, The New York Times Co. is searching to find new advertising platforms to turn things around. Now that advertisers seek cheaper, online revenue sources that reach out to a more expansive marketing base, the onetime advertising giant is struggling with reduced budgets, declining salaries, and the exodus of elite executives.
The 162-year-old company is intent on recapturing lost revenue by increasing online subscriptions and investing in new advertising techniques such as video advertisements which bring in more money than banner ads. Moreover, by offering these ads to nonpaying subscribers,The Times vastly increases their marketing audience.
Nevertheless, the third quarter’s print and digital advertising dwindled to $140 million, the lowest level since 1998, when The Times first started reporting revenues for its individual papers. Decreased revenues mean smaller budgets to support the Account Managers assigned to acquiring new clients. Consequently, reduced expense accounts have forced sales execs to pick up their own tab on client luncheons or arrange for in-house pizza parties to woo clients.
Despite optimism expressed by CEO Mark Thomson: “The Times has performed well in what has been a very difficult advertising climate over the past several years. However, I believe we have the opportunity to make further improvements,” the company still has serious obstacles to overcome. Ken Doctor, a media analyst with California-based Outsell Inc., indicates The Times has not overcome the problems of advertising in a digital age. What’s more, The New York Times has slashed salaries and bonuses well below industry averages, prompting Doctor to declare, “The Times just has too many things going against them right now”. Trying to compete with Google and Facebook for advertising share and advancing in the world of cyber space is still a huge problem for The Times and, as Doctor further notes, “No one seems to have come up with an answer.”