The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Aug 07, 2019 • 11:00 am ET


The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Good morning and welcome to The New York Times Company's Second Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]. I would now like to turn the conference over to Harlan Toplitzky, Vice President, Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Harlan Toplitzky

Thank you and welcome to The New York Times Company's second quarter 2019 earnings conference call. On the call today, we have Mark Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer who is joining us from our office in London. While in New York we have Roland Caputo, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Meredith Kopit Levien, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Before we begin, I would like to remind you that management will make forward-looking statements during the course of this call and our actual results could differ materially. Some of the risks and uncertainties that could impact our business are included in our 2018 10-K. In addition, our presentation will include non-GAAP financial measures and we've provided reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures in our earnings press release which is available on our website at

With that I will turn the call over to Mark Thompson.

Mark Thompson

Thanks Harlan, and good morning, everyone. Well we had another encouraging quarter with good growth in both digital subscriptions and digital advertising and the successful launch of our new television series The Weekly. We attribute these positive results to a sound strategy, the commitment, the hard work and growing digital expertise of all of our colleagues and above all to the dedication and talent of our amazing reporters, columnists and editors.

Having the best journalists in the world is our not so secret sauce and that's why we continue to increase our investments in journalism. But let's turn to the quarter and begin as usual with digital subscriptions. Our core new subscriptions grew faster than we'd expected.

This quarter, we added 131,000 net new subscriptions to our core news product. Of these 8,000 came from a Google promotion and should be considered a one-off. But the remaining 123,000 net adds, still represents a significant year-over-year increase on the 68,000 we saw in Q2 2018. It's the strongest Q2 performance in years with a milder than expected second quarter debt. Several factors account for this. Some big news stories, the effect of the more aggressive introductory offer pricing we introduced last year and growth optimization, driven by a much higher number of better designed tests.

Although subject to the $1 a week introductory offer, the first US subscriptions that began on this promotion are about to reach their first anniversary. We're obviously going to track them closely over the coming weeks and months, but I can tell you that retention continues to trend similar to previous cohorts. Now as you know, we're committed not just to driving immediate subscription results but to ensuring that we deliver strong growth in the medium and long-term. We've talked in recent earnings calls about the testing we've been doing to further optimize our pay model with a