Write-off contributes to NY Times losses

The New York Times Co. posted a loss of $88.1 million in the previous quarter on Thursday, as a write-off in the value of website About.com wiped out gains from increased online subscriptions.

The results for the second quarter compared with a loss of $119.7 million in the same period a year ago.

Excluding special items, the US publishing group showed a profit of 14 cents a share, a penny better than Wall Street estimates.

Revenues in the period edged up 0.6 percent from a year ago to $515 million, slightly above estimates.

"Our second-quarter results reflect our ongoing strides in repositioning the Times Company for an increasingly multiplatform future," said Arthur Sulzberger, chairman and chief executive.

He said gains in circulation revenues of around eight percent offset advertising revenue declines.

The Times, which is seeking to get more from its online operations, said total digital advertising revenues decreased 4.0 percent to $76.7 million.

Part of the drop came from declines in national display and real estate classified advertising.

The number of paid digital subscribers to The Times and the International Herald Tribune rose 12 percent from March to 509,000 at the end of the second quarter, an increase of approximately 12 percent since March 18, 2012.

The company's Boston Globe newspaper also showed an increase in digital subscriptions to 23,000.

Like other US newspapers, The New York Times has been struggling with declining print advertising revenue, falling circulation and the migration of readers to free news online.

The Times began charging in March 2011 for full access to NYTimes.com and it launched a subscription-only website for the Boston Globe in October.

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