New York Times Says Print Ad Sales Dipped In February, Expenses Edging Up

The New York Times Co. (NYSE:NYT) said Wednesday it expects operating expenses to increase by 1-2% in the first quarter, the result of higher newsprint prices, pension expense and promotion costs.

The newspaper company said print ad sales fell in the low-single-digits on a percentage basis in February, but the rate of the falloff continues to get better. As in January, digital ad revenue last month was up in the mid-single-digits, with growth in the company's News Media Group partially offset by softness at the About Group.

"We continue to expect circulation revenues in the first quarter to decrease in line with the declines we experienced in the second half of 2010," said Janet Robinson, the company's president and chief executive. "The pay model for is in the final testing phase, and we expect it will launch shortly."

The company will discuss its business and strategy at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Wednesday.