New York Times Nov. ad revenue drops 20.9 percent

The New York Times Co. said Wednesday that advertising revenue dropped 20.9 percent in November from a year ago, as the financial crisis prompted steep declines in classified and national ad spending.

The sharp economic deterioration, which followed the turmoil in the financial markets this September, has exacerbated an already-weak advertising market for newspapers as readers and advertisers have migrated to the Internet.

As part of its efforts to shore up its core assets amid the slump, the Times Co. is actively seeking buyers for its 17.5 percent stake in the holding company of the Boston Red Sox, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The holding company, New England Sports Ventures, owns the baseball club, Fenway Park and a majority interest in the New England Sports Network.

The Journal cited an estimate by Barclays (nyse: BCS - newspeople ) Capital that the Times Co. stake in the holding company could be worth about $166 million.

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino declined to comment on the Journal report late Wednesday and Times spokesmen were not immediately available.

The Times Co.'s ad revenue, which makes up nearly two-thirds of total revenue, had booked declines of 16.2 percent in October and 14.1 percent in September.

Total revenue from continuing operations fell 13.9 percent last month.


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