Mr. Thompson praised the “sheer breadth” of journalism at The Times, comparing the company to a “multi-ocean Navy” because of its ability to break and cover international and national news while also dedicating resources to investigations. He also cited The Daily, The Times’s popular podcast, which he said had been downloaded more than 100 million times since February.
The sound, if not earth-shattering, financial results were announced as The Times fundamentally reshapes itself into a business no longer rooted in newsprint. In the last several months, it has eliminated its copy desk, offered buyouts to employees and reorganized the structure of its newsroom.
But from a financial perspective, The Times appears to be moving in a positive direction.
The $64 million in print advertising revenue represented just 17 percent of the company’s total revenue in the third quarter, Mr. Thompson said, and was $22 million less than revenue from digital subscriptions. He said The Times was on track to reach its goal of $800 million in annual digital revenue by 2020, and he reiterated that he did not think it was unreasonable to project that the company would one day have 10 million subscribers.
Operating profit for the quarter increased to $33 million, from $9 million in the same period last year. Adjusted operating profit rose to $57 million, from $39 million. (Adjusted operating costs in the quarter rose slightly, to $329 million from $324 million compared with the third quarter of 2016.)
Total subscription revenue increased 14 percent in the quarter, to $247 million, partly because of digital subscription growth. Other revenue, which include revenue associated with Wirecutter, a product-review and recommendation site that The Times bought last year, rose 18 percent.
Times executives project that digital subscription revenue will increase about 40 percent in the fourth quarter, but Mr. Thompson said the company expected digital advertising growth for the fourth quarter to be flat or down slightly compared with the same period a year earlier.
Still, he added, “We remain fully confident in our ability to deliver sustainable revenue growth in digital advertising.”