The 'Failing' New York Times Reports Record Digital Growth


Contrary to the claims of President Donald Trump, The New York Times is doing quite well in some measures. And for at least a portion of its success, the publisher has Trump to thank, both for his election success and for his repeated attacks on the newspaper.

The Times said Thursday it added 276,000 new digital subscribers in the last quarter of 2016, the most in a single quarter since it began selling online subscriptions in 2011.

“The continued excellence of our journalism and our consumer-first focus led to incredible strength in our circulation business, both in the fourth quarter and for the full year,” Mark Thompson, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “As of today, we have passed the 3 million paid subscription mark (print and digital), a significant milestone.”

In announcing the news on Twitter, the Times appeared to poke fun at the president by including the hashtags #factsmatter and #presson.

Since taking office, Trump has declared himself in “a running war with the media” and has repeatedly taken to Twitter to attack news outlets, namely the Times and The Washington Post.

In a rant last week, he labeled the Times “dishonest” and “fake news,” and said the Times and the Post both had “dwindling subscribers and readers.” The Times was quick to fire back, tweeting that its subscribers and audience are at record highs.

Unsurprisingly, Trump insisted on having the final word in response to the Times earnings report.

Trump’s surprise election win has helped drive readership of the Times and other media. Back in November, the Times told CNBC that in the three days after the Nov. 8 election, it added nearly 132,000 paid subscriptions ― a “dramatic” tenfold increase in the usual number.

In its Thursday announcement, the Times said total revenues for the quarter were $440 million, down 1.1 percent from the previous year. Operating profit fell to $56 million, from $88 million.

While print advertising sales declined 20.4 percent, circulation revenue from digital-only subscriptions increased 21.9 percent to $63.7 million, the company said.

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