Online business news provider TheStreet.com ( TSCM) narrowed its fourth-quarter loss but said year-over-year revenue continued to slide amid an advertising drought.

The New York-based publisher of this Web site lost a pro forma $4.6 million, or 19 cents a share, in the fourth quarter compared with $5.6 million, or 20 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue was $3.8 million, down from $6.3 million last year but up from $3.5 million in the third quarter. The company had cash and short-term investments of $33.7 million at the end of the year, down from $72.2 million last year.

The bottom-line loss, which includes various charges, was $6.2 million, or 26 cents a share, in the latest quarter compared with $24.6 million, or 90 cents a share, last year.

The company said fourth-quarter advertising revenue fell to $1 million from $3.9 million a year ago, while revenue from subscriptions rose to $2.6 million from $2.0 million a year ago. It booked $2.2 million in subscriptions in the fourth quarter, up 23% from the third quarter.

"We are proud of the fact that we were able to increase our subscription revenue for the third consecutive quarter, despite the challenges posed by the recession and the aftermath of the Sept. 11th tragedy," CEO Thomas Clarke said. "Our new products generate average annual revenue per subscriber of more than $500, which is more than three times our total average annual revenue per subscriber."

TheStreet.com said it cut operating expenses excluding restructuring and asset-impairment expenses and the cost of a settlement by 6% from the third quarter and 20% from a year ago.

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