May 18th, 2007
Yesterday, there was the the news about a current and a former New York Times Digital executive joining DailyCandy, the successful email newsletter company targeting young women with the “ultimate insiderâ€™s guide to whatâ€™s hot, new, and undiscovered.” Today, there is the news about print ad revenue at the New York Times continuing to fall, while online ad revenue continues to grow:
New York Times Digital Execs Join DailyCandy
IN A MOVE MARKING DAILYCANDY’S strength as a leading vehicle for marketers seeking to reach young female influencers, the publisher yesterday hired two executives who had previously worked together growing New York Times Digital for nearly 10 years: Catherine Levene as chief operating officer and Alyson Racer as vice president of ad sales. The COO job had been vacant for a year while Racer’s position is new at the company.
Levine was most recently senior vice president at TheFind.com, and previously vice president of product, business development and strategy at New York Times Digital. Racer was most recently vice president of advertising at New York Times Digital, ten years after joining there as the Times’ first-ever online sales rep.
New York Times Print Revenue Falls, Online Revenue Rises
Ad revenue for the New York Times media group slid 3.8 percent with national ad sales falling on weakness in national automotive, pharmaceutical, telecommunications and advocacy advertising. Retail ad revenue declined on softness in fine arts, home furnishing stores, direct electronics and department store advertising.
The New England group’s ad sales fell 3.3 percent as retail ad revenue dropped on weakness in furniture/home furnishing, sports/toys and food/drug advertising. Regional media ad revenue sagged 9.1 percent.
Internet ad sales for all three groups climbed 15.6 percent on growth in display and classified advertising.
DailyCandy, owned by an investment group led by former AOL Time Warner merger guy Bob Pittman, was put on the block last year, it was said to have operating margins of nearly 60%. DailyCandy wasn’t acquired, but instead sold a minority stake at a $130 million valuation. Ironically, the New York Times was reported to be one of the interested buyers — there were apparently concerns by the NYT and other prospective buyers as to how the business would fair as it grows (via PaidContent).
Those concerns may well be valid — so why would anyone chose to work at an email newsletter start-up instead of the venerable New York Times, which is a savvy online publisher? Perhaps because DailyCandy, whatever its growth challenges, has one thing going for it that the New York Times doesn’t — no shrinking legacy business to content with. The New York Times digital businesses, particularly About.com, may be enjoying healthy growth, but they can’t overcome the negative pull of the print businesses.
If you had the choice, would you work for DailyCandy or NYT?