links for 2008-12-18

  • "The American Society of Newspaper Editors is planning to remove "paper" from its name and expand its membership to include editors of online-only news Web sites and journalism educators, President Charlotte Hall told members in an e-mail today."
  • "With the patient help of the folks at the NYT, we've put together a schedule of how much cash the NYTCo needs to come up with and when. Barring asset sales or further deterioration of the business, here's the bottom line for the next three years.

    * 2009: $214 million of cash needed
    * 2010: $546 million of cash needed
    * 2011: $500 million of cash needed

    If current revenue and expense trends continue, the business itself will soon stop generating cash and start consuming it. Unless the company significantly cuts costs or sells assets, therefore, NYTCo will likely need more cash than we have outlined here.

    In a press release this morning, the company said it was looking at various options for raising this cash, including revolving loan agreements and equity or debt offerings. Details in this online spreadsheet.

  • NYT Digital head Martin Nisenholtz said revenue at his unit had been OK until the last two months of the year, but that there had been “softness in November, accelerating into December…next year is going to be a different year, by a fairly profound margin.”

    Bear in mind that the Times’s digital performance pre-November was grim to begin with–digital revenue grew just 4.3 percent in October–and it becomes possible to imagine that digital revenue will decrease for at least part of 2009.

    Nisenholtz didn’t do anything rash like attach any numbers to his comments, but he did add a little bit of color: His About.com unit, which is boosted by cost-per-click/search ads, is still doing OK-ish. But the business of selling display ads to Times Web sites is getting pummeled, and could be “under great stress” next year, he says.

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