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New York Times Co. profit declined in first quarter; ad revenue up slightly

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New York—The New York Times Co. said Thursday that its first-quarter earnings declined to $35.0 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with a profit of $111.0 million, or 76 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The first-quarter results include a charge of $5.2 million on costs associated with cutting 500 jobs last September. However, the results were bolstered by the sale of two properties, including the Times’ current headquarters in New York. Total revenue rose 3.3% to $831.8 million compared with $805.6 million in 2005. Ad revenue rose 3.9%. However, excluding About.com, which Times Co. acquired last year for $410.0 million, ad revenue increased just a fraction of a percent. Ad revenue at the Times’ New England Media Group, which includes the Boston Globe , fell 4.9% on weakness in national automotive, travel, telecommunications and entertainment advertising. Meanwhile, March ad revenue for company’s business units rose 4.6% and total company revenue increased 3.2% compared with the same month in 2005. Excluding About.com, ad revenue rose 2.1% and total company revenue increased 1.4%.

—Matthew Schwartz

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