The Move That Could Impact the New York Times’s Print Business


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 4:52 p.m. ET

The Gray Lady gets a facelift

The New York Times Company (NYT) recently announced a redesign of its print newspaper, creating a section to highlight tweets from its reporters. Although this doesn’t look like an earthshaking tweak, the move is expected to achieve an obvious goal—increasing the appeal of the iconic newspaper’s print edition, which has suffered from the shift to digital news outlets.

Although bringing reporters’ tweets to the print edition may do little to attract new readers, it could help the company prevent further deterioration of its print newspaper business by retaining its existing readership.

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Revenues decline

As news consumption shifts to online platforms, print sales continue to decline. However, the company has also struggled to grow its overall revenues. The New York Times generated revenues of $439.7 million in 4Q16, down from $444.7 million in 4Q15, as illustrated in the chart above.

Digital expansion

To offset its declining print sales and to reaccelerate revenue growth, NYT is working to grow its digital readership. The New York Times Company is making the newspaper’s content available on multiple online platforms, including its native website and app. The newspaper’s content is also available on third-party platforms such as Facebook’s (FB) Instant Articles and Apple’s (AAPL) Apple News.

Modern print newspaper

The New York Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, noted that the move was intended to create a print newspaper that is relevant in a digital era. Because the company is primarily funded by advertising revenues, retaining print readers while driving digital expansion should encourage investors. 

Investors in print media have been increasingly concerned about traditional media companies losing business to Internet companies like Facebook, Twitter (TWTR), Snap (SNAP), and Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google.


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