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WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. (TheStreet) -- The New York Times Company (NYT) - Get Free Report told a big sad story this week. Unfortunately, it was about its own financial fate. At a conference, management gave guidance that was surprisingly bad, at least for anyone who took management at its word only two months ago when it trumpeted the claim that business was effectively stabilizing.

Well, easy come, easy go, as they say.

Now, management says, print revenue for the third quarter will be down 10%, two-and-a-half-times times worse than the company predicted back in July. Perhaps worse, online advertising revenue will be down 2% to 3%.

The Times Company has been selling a false dream of a transition to digital all along. The growth rate off such a small base never supported the claims; now the math has simply turned laughable.

Unadulterated bad news seems easy to report (there is little complexity to it), but

News Corp.'s

(NWS) - Get Free Report

The Wall Street Journal

managed to skip over two important elements to this New York Times story that the

Financial Times


For one, the

Financial Times

mentioned the specific time frame (July) of the previous forecast. Look: If guidance goes from stable to horrible in the span of two short months, it is important. It means management is either lying or has no bead on what is going on. Or that business is falling off the lip of a cliff.


The Wall Street Journal

only mentioned that the Times Company delivered its grim news at a conference. But this just wasn't any conference. This was a media conference at which other media companies, including television outfits like


(CBS) - Get Free Report

and News Corp., said the advertising market was strong. The New York Times Company blamed its troubles on the wider weakness in advertising -- but, well, given the context, that might not be true. It might be its strategies -- or simply newspapers -- that are doomed. You would know that from reading the

Financial Times

, but not

The Wall Street Journal


At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Fuchs appreciates your feedback;

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