'New York Times' 3Q profit falls 51%

'Times' may cut dividend; Murdoch objects to biography; Tribune Co. reportedly interested in Orange County Register

The October 22 suspicious powder scare at The New York Times Co. headquarters may have been a bad omen for the company, which announced a 51.4% decline in third-quarter profit. The declining revenue could push the Times Co. to consider cutting its dividend and writing down the value of the New England Media Group, including The Boston Globe, by as much as $150 million. More bad news: Moody's warned the Times Co. on October 23 that, despite 3Q results beating market expectations, its debt could be downgraded to "junk".


Yet there was a bright side. CEO Janet Robinson said on a conference call that the Times' Web site had three straight weeks of record-breaking traffic during the financial crisis, adding that the newspaper would introduce more business journalists.


Portfolio has a roundup of media reaction here.


Also in the media glare:


Rupert Murdoch has objections to an upcoming biography of him, written by Michael Wolff, who, himself, objects to The Daily Beast.


Sumner Redstone says he has no plans to sell more shares of Viacom or CBS Corp. stock.


Bono will write up to 10 columns for The New York Times' OpEd pages next year.


Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore may stay on longer than planned; the company's Southern Progress division reportedly lays off employees.


Tribune Co. is reportedly interested in buying the Orange County Register.

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