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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
Annual Report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the fiscal year ended
December 29, 2019
 
Commission file number
1-5837
THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
New York
 
 
 
 
13-1102020
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
 
 
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

620 Eighth Avenue,
New York,
New York
10018

 
(Address and zip code of principal executive offices)
 
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (212556-1234
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Trading Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A Common Stock of $.10 par value
NYT
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: Not Applicable
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes ☐    No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
 
Large Accelerated Filer
  
Accelerated filer
 
Non-accelerated filer        
Smaller reporting company
 
 
 
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by the check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  No 
The aggregate worldwide market value of Class A Common Stock held by non-affiliates, based on the closing price on June 28, 2019, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second quarter, as reported on the New York Stock Exchange, was approximately $5.2 billion. As of such date, non-affiliates held 55,260 shares of Class B Common Stock. There is no active market for such stock.
The number of outstanding shares of each class of the registrant’s common stock as of February 24, 2020 (exclusive of treasury shares), was as follows: 165,595,573 shares of Class A Common Stock and 803,404 shares of Class B Common Stock.
Documents incorporated by reference
Portions of the Proxy Statement relating to the registrant’s 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, to be held on April 22, 2020, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.



INDEX TO THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 2019 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
 
 
ITEM NO.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
16
 
 
 
 
 





PART I
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including the sections titled “Item 1A — Risk Factors” and “Item 7 — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” contains forward-looking statements that relate to future events or our future financial performance. We may also make written and oral forward-looking statements in our Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings and otherwise. We have tried, where possible, to identify such statements by using words such as “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “will,” “could,” “project,” “plan” and similar expressions in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. Any forward-looking statements are and will be based upon our then-current expectations, estimates and assumptions regarding future events and are applicable only as of the dates of such statements. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in any such statements. You should bear this in mind as you consider forward-looking statements. Factors that we think could, individually or in the aggregate, cause our actual results to differ materially from expected and historical results include those described in “Item 1A — Risk Factors” below, as well as other risks and factors identified from time to time in our SEC filings.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
OVERVIEW
The New York Times Company (the “Company”) was incorporated on August 26, 1896, under the laws of the State of New York. The Company and its consolidated subsidiaries are referred to collectively in this Annual Report on Form 10-K as “we,” “our” and “us.”
We are a global media organization focused on creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news and information. Our continued commitment to premium content and journalistic excellence makes The New York Times brand a trusted source of news and information for readers and viewers across various platforms. Recognized widely for the quality of our reporting and content, our publications have been awarded many industry and peer accolades, including 127 Pulitzer Prizes and citations, more than any other news organization.
The Company includes our newspaper, print and digital products and related businesses. We have one reportable segment with businesses that include:
our newspaper, The New York Times (“The Times”);
our websites, including NYTimes.com;
our mobile applications, including The Times’s core news applications, as well as interest-specific applications, including our Crossword and Cooking products; and
related businesses, such as our licensing operations; our creative services, including those associated with our branded content studio; our product review and recommendation website, Wirecutter; our commercial printing operations; NYT Live (our live events business); and other products and services under The Times brand.
We generate revenues principally from subscriptions and advertising. Subscription revenues consist of revenues from subscriptions to our print and digital products (which include our news products, as well as our Crossword and Cooking products) and single-copy sales of our print newspaper. Advertising revenue is derived from the sale of our advertising products and services. Revenue information for the Company appears under “Item 7 — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
During 2019, we continued to make significant investments in our journalism and our digital products, while taking further steps to position our organization to operate effectively in a digital environment. The Times continued to break stories and produce investigative reports that sparked global conversations on a wide range of topics, including surging populism, climate change and technology. We launched groundbreaking journalistic initiatives


THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 1


such as the Privacy Project and the 1619 Project and continued to invest in growing our capabilities in visual, audio and multimedia journalism. Our highly popular news podcast, The Daily, reached one billion total downloads, and has laid the groundwork for a number of new podcasts. The launches of “The Weekly” and other television programs based on Times content have provided additional ways for audiences to experience our original and high-quality journalism. In addition, our advertising teams continued to create innovative advertising solutions for the world’s leading brands.
We believe that the significant growth over the last year in subscriptions to our products demonstrates the success of our “subscription-first” strategy and the willingness of our readers to pay for high-quality journalism. We had approximately 5.3 million paid subscriptions to our products as of December 29, 2019, more than at any point in our history.
PRODUCTS
The Company’s principal business consists of distributing content generated by our newsroom through our digital and print platforms. In addition, we distribute selected content on third-party platforms.
Since 2011, we have charged consumers for content provided on our core news website (NYTimes.com) and mobile application. Digital subscriptions can be purchased individually or through group corporate or group education subscriptions. Our access model offers users free registered access to a limited number of articles per month before requiring users to subscribe for access to content beyond that limit.
In addition to subscriptions to our digital news product, we offer standalone subscriptions to other digital products, namely our Crossword and Cooking products. Certain digital news subscription packages include access to our Crossword and Cooking products.
Our products also include news and opinion podcasts, which are distributed both on our digital platforms and on third-party platforms. We generate advertising and licensing revenue from this content, but do not charge users for access.
The Times’s print edition newspaper, published seven days a week in the United States, commenced publication in 1851. The Times also has an international edition that is tailored for global audiences. First published in 2013 and previously called the International New York Times, the international edition succeeded the International Herald Tribune, a leading daily newspaper that commenced publishing in Paris in 1887. Our print newspapers are sold in the United States and around the world through individual home-delivery subscriptions, bulk subscriptions (primarily by schools and hotels) and single-copy sales. Print home-delivery subscribers are entitled to receive free access to some or all of our digital products.
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND AUDIENCE
Our content reaches a broad audience through both digital and print platforms. As of December 29, 2019, we had approximately 5,251,000 paid subscriptions across 225 countries and territories to our digital and print products.
Paid digital-only subscriptions totaled approximately 4,395,000 as of December 29, 2019, an increase of approximately 31% compared with December 30, 2018. This amount includes standalone paid subscriptions to our Crossword and Cooking products, which totaled approximately 966,000 as of December 29, 2019. International digital-only news subscriptions represented approximately 17% of our digital-only news subscriptions as of December 29, 2019.
The number of paid digital-only subscriptions also includes estimated group corporate and group education subscriptions (which collectively represent approximately 6% of total paid digital subscriptions to our news products). The number of paid group subscriptions is derived using the value of the relevant contract and a discounted subscription rate. The actual number of users who have access to our products through group subscriptions is substantially higher.
In the United States, The Times had the largest daily and Sunday print circulation of all seven-day newspapers for the three-month period ended September 29, 2019, according to data collected by the Alliance for Audited Media (“AAM”), an independent agency that audits circulation of most U.S. newspapers and magazines.
For the fiscal year ended December 29, 2019, The Times’s average print circulation (which includes paid and qualified circulation of the newspaper in print) was approximately 443,000 for weekday (Monday to Friday) and 918,000 for Sunday. (Under AAM’s reporting guidance, qualified circulation represents copies available for individual


P. 2 – THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


consumers that are either non-paid or paid by someone other than the individual, such as copies delivered to schools and colleges and copies purchased by businesses for free distribution.)
Average circulation for the international edition of our newspaper (which includes paid circulation of the newspaper in print and electronic replica editions) for the fiscal years ended December 29, 2019, and December 30, 2018, was approximately 164,000 (estimated) and 170,000, respectively. These figures follow the guidance of Office de Justification de la Diffusion, an agency based in Paris and a member of the International Federation of Audit Bureaux of Circulations that audits the circulation of most newspapers and magazines in France. The final 2019 figure will not be available until April 2020.
According to comScore Media Metrix, an online audience measurement service, in 2019, NYTimes.com had a monthly average of approximately 96 million unique visitors in the United States on either desktop/laptop computers or mobile devices. Globally, including the United States, NYTimes.com had a monthly average of approximately 136 million unique visitors on either desktop/laptop computers or mobile devices, according to internal data estimates. 
ADVERTISING
We have a comprehensive portfolio of advertising products and services. The majority of our advertising revenue is derived from offerings sold directly to marketers by our advertising sales teams. A significantly smaller and diminishing proportion of our total advertising revenues is generated through programmatic auctions run by third-party advertising exchanges. Our advertising revenue is divided into two main categories:
Display Advertising
Display advertising revenue is principally generated from advertisers (such as technology, financial institutions and American and international fashion) promoting products, services or brands on our digital and print platforms.
In print, column-inch ads are priced according to established rates, with premiums for color and positioning. The Times had the largest market share in 2019 in print advertising among a national newspaper set that consists of USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Times, according to MediaRadar, an independent agency that measures advertising sales volume.
On our digital platforms, display advertising comprises banners and video in websites, mobile applications and emails. Display advertising includes advertisements that direct viewers to branded content (longer form marketing content that is distinct from The Times’s editorial content) on The Times’s platforms.
In 2019, print and digital display advertising represented approximately 81% of our advertising revenues.
Other Advertising
Other print advertising primarily includes classified advertising paid for on a per line basis; revenues from preprinted advertising, also known as free standing inserts; and advertising revenues from our licensing division.
Other digital advertising primarily includes creative services fees, including those associated with our branded content studio; advertising revenue generated by our podcasts; advertising revenue generated by our product review and recommendation website, Wirecutter; and classified advertising, which includes line ads sold in the major categories of real estate, help wanted, automotive and other on either a per-listing basis for bundled listing packages, or as an add-on to a print classified ad.
In 2019, print and digital other advertising represented approximately 19% of our advertising revenues.
Seasonality
Our business is affected in part by seasonal patterns in advertising, with generally higher advertising volume in the fourth quarter due to holiday advertising.


THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 3


COMPETITION
Our print and digital products compete for subscriptions and advertising with other media in their respective markets. Competition for subscription revenue and readership is generally based upon platform, format, content, quality, service, timeliness and price, while competition for advertising is generally based upon audience levels and demographics, advertising rates, service, targeting capabilities, advertising results and breadth of advertising offerings.
Our print newspaper competes for subscriptions and advertising primarily with the print editions of national newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post; newspapers of general circulation in New York City and its suburbs; other daily and weekly newspapers in markets in which The Times is circulated; and some national news and lifestyle magazines. The international edition of our newspaper competes with international sources of English-language news, including the Financial Times, Time, Bloomberg Business Week and The Economist, as well as pan-regional publications.
As our industry continues to shift from print to digital media, our products face competition for audience, subscriptions and advertising from a wide variety of digital media (many of which are free to users), including news and other information websites and mobile applications, news aggregators, sites that cover niche content, social media platforms, and other forms of media. In addition, we compete for advertising on digital advertising networks and exchanges and real-time bidding and other programmatic buying channels, and our creative services offerings compete with those of other marketing agencies that provide similar services, including those of other publishers.
Our digital news product most directly competes for audience, subscriptions and advertising with other U.S. news and information websites, mobile applications and digital products, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Vox, Buzzfeed, NPR and Fox News. We also compete with customized news feeds and news aggregators such as Facebook Newsfeed, Apple News, Google News and Snapchat and for subscriptions with Apple News Plus. Internationally, our websites and mobile applications compete with international online sources of English-language news, including BBC News, CNN, The Guardian, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Reuters.
OTHER BUSINESSES
We derive revenue from other businesses, which primarily include:
The Company’s licensing of our intellectual property. Our licensing division transmits articles, graphics and photographs from The Times and other publications to approximately 1,500 clients, including newspapers, magazines and websites in over 100 countries and territories worldwide. The licensing division also handles digital archive distribution, which licenses electronic databases to resellers in the business, professional and library markets; magazine licensing; news digests; book development and rights and permissions. In addition, the Company licenses select content to third-party digital platforms for access by their users. Finally, the Company licenses content for use in, and collaborates with third parties in the development and production of, television and films;
Wirecutter, a product review and recommendation website acquired in October 2016 that serves as a guide to technology gear, home products and other consumer goods. This website generates affiliate referral revenue (revenue generated by offering direct links to merchants in exchange for a portion of the sale price upon completion of a transaction), which we record as other revenues;
The Company’s commercial printing operations, which utilize excess printing capacity at our College Point facility to print products for third parties; and
The Company’s NYT Live business, a platform for our live journalism that convenes thought leaders from business, academia and government at conferences and events to discuss topics ranging from education to sustainability to the luxury business. 


P. 4 – THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


PRINT PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION
The Times is currently printed at our production and distribution facility in College Point, N.Y., as well as under contract at 25 remote print sites across the United States. We also utilize excess printing capacity at our College Point facility for commercial printing for third parties. The Times is delivered to newsstands and retail outlets in the New York metropolitan area through a combination of third-party wholesalers and our own drivers. In other markets in the United States and Canada, The Times is delivered through agreements with other newspapers and third-party delivery agents.
The international edition of The Times is printed under contract at 35 sites throughout the world and is sold in over 120 countries and territories. It is distributed through agreements with other newspapers and third-party delivery agents.
RAW MATERIALS
The primary raw materials we use are newsprint and coated paper, which we purchase from a number of North American and European producers. A significant portion of our newsprint is purchased from Resolute FP US Inc., a subsidiary of Resolute Forest Products Inc., a large global manufacturer of paper, market pulp and wood products.
In 2019 and 2018, we used the following types and quantities of paper:
(In metric tons)
 
2019

 
2018

Newsprint(1)
 
93,300

 
94,400

Coated and Supercalendered Paper(2)
 
13,200

 
14,600

(1) Newsprint usage includes paper used for commercial printing.

(2) The Times uses a mix of coated and supercalendered paper for The New York Times Magazine, and coated paper for T: The New York
Times Style Magazine.

EMPLOYEES AND LABOR RELATIONS
We had approximately 4,500 full-time equivalent employees as of December 29, 2019.
Approximately 43% of our full-time equivalent employees were represented by unions as of December 29, 2019, including certain employees at Wirecutter who formed a union in 2019. The following is a list of collective bargaining agreements covering various categories of the Company’s employees and their corresponding expiration dates. As indicated below, one collective bargaining agreement, under which less than 1% of our full-time equivalent employees are covered, will expire within one year and we expect negotiations for a new contract to begin in the near future. We cannot predict the timing or the outcome of these negotiations.
Employee Category
Expiration Date
Typographers
March 30, 2020
NewsGuild of New York
March 30, 2021
Paperhandlers
March 30, 2021
Pressmen
March 30, 2021
Stereotypers
March 30, 2021
Machinists
March 30, 2022
Mailers
March 30, 2023
Drivers
March 30, 2025
In addition, we are in the process of negotiating an initial collective bargaining agreement with certain employees of Wirecutter.


THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 5


AVAILABLE INFORMATION
Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports, and the Proxy Statement for our Annual Meeting of Stockholders are made available, free of charge, on our website at http://www.nytco.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports have been filed with or furnished to the SEC.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
You should carefully consider the risk factors described below, as well as the other information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected by any or all of these risks, or by other risks or uncertainties not presently known or currently deemed immaterial, that may adversely affect us in the future.
We face significant competition in all aspects of our business.
We operate in a highly competitive environment. We compete for subscription and advertising revenue with both traditional and other content providers, as well as search engines and social media platforms. Competition among companies offering online content is intense, and new competitors can quickly emerge.  
Our ability to compete effectively depends on many factors both within and beyond our control, including among others:
our ability to continue delivering high-quality journalism and content that is interesting and relevant to our audience;
our reputation and brand strength relative to those of our competitors;
the popularity, usefulness, ease of use, performance and reliability of our digital products compared with those of our competitors;
the engagement of our audience, and our ability to reach new users;
our ability to develop, maintain and monetize our products;
the pricing of our products;
our marketing and selling efforts, including our ability to differentiate our products and services from those of our competitors;
our visibility on search engines and social media platforms and in mobile app stores, compared with that of our competitors;
our ability to provide advertisers with a compelling return on their investments;
our ability to attract, retain, and motivate talented employees, including journalists and product and technology specialists; and
our ability to manage and grow our business in a cost-effective manner.
Some of our current and potential competitors may have greater resources than we do, which may allow them to compete more effectively than us.
Our success depends on our ability to respond and adapt to changes in technology and consumer behavior.
Technology in the media industry continues to evolve rapidly. Advances in technology have led to an increased number of methods for the delivery and consumption of news and other content. These developments are also driving changes in the preferences and expectations of consumers as they seek more control over how they consume content.
Changes in technology and consumer behavior pose a number of challenges that could adversely affect our revenues and competitive position. For example, among others:
we may be unable to develop digital products that consumers find engaging, that work with a variety of operating systems and networks and that achieve a high level of market acceptance;


P. 6 – THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


we may introduce new products or services, or make changes to existing products and services, that are not favorably received by consumers;
there may be changes in user sentiment about the quality or usefulness of our existing products or concerns related to privacy, security or other factors;
failure to successfully manage changes implemented by social media platforms, search engines, news aggregators or mobile app stores and device manufacturers, including those affecting how our content and applications are prioritized, displayed and monetized, could affect our business;
consumers may increasingly use technology (such as incognito browsing) that decreases our ability to enforce limits on the free access we provide to our content and/or obtain a complete view of the behavior of users who engage with our products;
we may be unable to maintain or update our technology infrastructure in a way that meets market and consumer demands; and
the consumption of our content on delivery platforms of third parties may lead to limitations on monetization of our products, the loss of control over distribution of our content and of a direct relationship with our audience, and lower engagement and subscription rates.
We continue to invest significant resources to mitigate these potential risks and to build, maintain and evolve our products and technology infrastructure. These investments may adversely impact our operating results in the near term and there can be no assurance as to our ability to use new and existing technologies to distinguish our products and services from those of our competitors and develop in a timely manner compelling new products and services that engage users across platforms. If we are not successful in responding to changes in technology and consumer behavior, our business, financial condition and prospects may be adversely affected.
A failure to continue to retain and grow our subscriber base could adversely affect our results of operations and business.
Revenue from subscriptions to our print and digital products makes up a majority of our total revenue. Subscription revenue is sensitive to discretionary spending and economic conditions in the markets we serve. To the extent poor economic conditions lead consumers to reduce spending on discretionary activities, our ability to retain current and obtain new subscribers could be hindered, thereby reducing our subscription revenue. In addition, the growth rate of new subscriptions to our products that are driven by significant news events and/or promotional pricing may not be sustainable.
Subscriptions to our digital products generate substantial revenue for us, and our future growth depends upon our ability to retain and grow our digital subscriber base and audience. To do so will require us to continue to evolve our subscription model, address changing consumer demands and developments in technology and improve our digital products while continuing to deliver high-quality journalism and content that our readers find interesting, relevant and reliable. We have invested and will continue to invest significant resources in these efforts, but there is no assurance that we will be able to successfully maintain and increase our digital subscriber base or that we will be able to do so without taking steps such as reducing pricing or incurring subscription acquisition costs that would affect our subscription revenues, margin and/or profitability.
Our ability to retain and grow our digital subscriber base also depends on the engagement of users with our products, including the frequency, breadth and depth of their use. If users become less engaged with our products, they may be less likely to purchase subscriptions or renew their existing subscriptions, which would adversely affect our subscription revenues. In addition, we have implemented and may continue to implement changes in the free access we provide to our content and/or the pricing of our subscriptions that could have an adverse impact on our ability to attract and retain subscribers.
Print subscriptions continue to decline as the media industry has transitioned from being primarily print-focused to digital. If we are unable to offset continued revenue declines resulting from falling print subscriptions with revenue from home-delivery price increases, our print subscription revenue will be adversely affected. In addition, if we are unable to offset and ultimately replace continued print subscription revenue declines with other sources of revenue, our operating results will be adversely affected.


THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 7


Our advertising revenues are affected by numerous external factors, including economic conditions, market dynamics, audience fragmentation and evolving digital advertising trends.
We derive substantial revenues from the sale of advertising in our products. Advertising spending is sensitive to overall economic conditions, and our advertising revenues could be adversely affected if advertisers respond to weak and uneven economic conditions by reducing their budgets or shifting spending patterns or priorities, or if they are forced to consolidate or cease operations. Among other things, an economic slowdown or other negative impact on worldwide economic conditions from the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) could materially adversely impact our advertising revenues.
In determining whether to buy advertising, our advertisers consider the demand for our products, demographics of our reader base, advertising rates, results observed by advertisers, breadth of advertising offerings and alternative advertising options.
Although print advertising revenue continues to represent a majority of our total advertising revenue (approximately 51% of our total advertising revenues in 2019), the overall proportion continues to decline. The increased popularity of digital media among consumers, particularly as a source for news and other content, has driven a corresponding shift in demand from print advertising to digital advertising. However, our digital advertising revenue has not replaced, and may not replace in full, print advertising revenue lost as a result of the shift.
Large digital platforms, such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, which have greater audience reach, audience data and targeting capabilities than we do, command a large share of the digital display advertising market, and we anticipate that this will continue. The remaining market is subject to significant competition among publishers and other content providers, and audience fragmentation. These dynamics have affected, and will likely continue to affect, our ability to attract and retain advertisers and to maintain or increase our advertising rates.
The digital advertising market itself continues to undergo change. Digital advertising networks and exchanges, real-time bidding and other programmatic buying channels that allow advertisers to buy audiences at scale play a significant role in the advertising marketplace and have caused and may continue to cause further downward pricing pressure and the loss of a direct relationship with marketers. Growing consumer reliance on mobile devices creates additional pressure, as mobile display advertising does not command the same rates as desktop advertising. Our digital advertising operations rely on a small number of significant technologies (particularly Google’s ad manager) which, if interrupted or meaningfully changed, could have an adverse impact on our advertising revenues, operating costs and/or operating results.
Evolving standards for the delivery of digital advertising, as well as the development and implementation of technology and policies that adversely affect our ability to deliver, target or measure the effectiveness of advertising (such as blocking the display of advertising and/or cookies), may also adversely affect our advertising revenues if we are unable to develop effective solutions to mitigate their impact.
As the digital advertising market continues to evolve, our ability to compete successfully for advertising budgets will depend on, among other things, our ability to engage and grow digital audiences and demonstrate the value of our advertising and the effectiveness of our products to advertisers.
There may be further downward pressure on our advertising revenue margins as our advertising business evolves.
The character of our advertising continues to change, as demand for newer forms of advertising such as branded content and other customized advertising increases. The margin on revenues from some of these advertising forms is generally lower than the margin on revenues we generate from our print advertising and traditional digital display advertising. Consequently, we may experience further downward pressure on our advertising revenue margins as a greater percentage of advertising revenues comes from these newer forms.
We have continued to take steps intended to improve our users’ experiences and retain and grow our subscriber base. For example, in order to improve users’ experiences, we have ceased presenting open-market programmatic advertising in our iOS and Android mobile applications. While these changes may result in long-term benefits for our advertising revenue, they may reduce the inventory for some of our digital advertising products or may otherwise impact advertising revenues.


P. 8 – THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


Investments we make in new and existing products and services expose us to risks and challenges that could adversely affect our operations and profitability.
We have invested and expect to continue to invest significant resources to enhance and expand our existing products and services and to develop new products and services. These investments have included, among others: enhancements to our core news product; our lifestyle products (including our Crossword, Cooking and Parenting products); investments in our podcasts and television initiatives; as well as our commercial printing and other ancillary operations. These efforts present numerous risks and challenges, including the potential need for us to develop additional expertise in certain areas; technological and operational challenges; the need to effectively allocate capital resources; new and/or increased costs (including marketing costs and costs to recruit, integrate and retain skilled employees); risks associated with new strategic relationships; new competitors (some of which may have more resources and experience in certain areas); and additional legal and regulatory risks from expansion into new areas. As a result of these and other risks and challenges, growth into new areas may divert internal resources and the attention of our management and other personnel, including journalists and product and technology specialists.
Although we believe we have a strong and well-established reputation as a global media company, our ability to market these products effectively, and to gain and maintain an audience, particularly for some of our new digital products, is not certain, and if they are not favorably received, our brand may be adversely affected. Even if our new products and services, or enhancements to existing products and services, are favorably received, they may not advance our business strategy as expected, may result in unanticipated costs or liabilities and may fall short of expected return on investment targets or fail to generate sufficient revenue to justify our investments, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The fixed cost nature of significant portions of our expenses may limit our operating flexibility and could adversely affect our results of operations.
Significant portions of our expenses, including employee-related costs, are fixed costs that neither increase nor decrease proportionately with revenues. In addition, our ability to make short-term adjustments to manage our costs or to make changes to our business strategy may be limited by certain of our collective bargaining agreements. If we were unable to implement cost-control efforts or reduce our fixed costs sufficiently in response to a decline in our revenues, our results of operations will be adversely affected.
Security breaches and other network and information systems disruptions could affect our ability to conduct our business effectively and damage our reputation.
Our systems store and process confidential subscriber, employee and other sensitive personal and Company data, and therefore maintaining our network security is of critical importance. In addition, we rely on the technology and systems provided by third-party vendors (including cloud-based service providers) for a variety of operations, including encryption and authentication technology, employee email, domain name registration, content delivery to customers, administrative functions (including payroll processing and certain finance and accounting functions) and other operations.
We regularly face attempts by malicious actors to breach our security and compromise our information technology systems. These attackers may use a blend of technology and social engineering techniques (including denial of service attacks, phishing attempts intended to induce our employees and users to disclose information or unwittingly provide access to systems or data, and other techniques), to disrupt service or exfiltrate data. Information security threats are constantly evolving, increasing the difficulty of detecting and successfully defending against them. To date, no incidents have had, either individually or in the aggregate, a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
In addition, our systems, and those of third parties upon which our business relies, may be vulnerable to interruption or damage that can result from natural disasters or the effects of climate change (such as increased storm severity and flooding), fires, power outages or internet outages, acts of terrorism or other similar events.
We have implemented controls and taken other preventative measures designed to strengthen our systems against such incidents and attacks, including measures designed to reduce the impact of a security breach at our third-party vendors. Although the costs of the controls and other measures we have taken to date have not had a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity, there can be no assurance as to the costs of additional controls and measures that we may conclude are necessary in the future.


THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 9


There can also be no assurance that the actions, measures and controls we have implemented will be effective against future attacks or be sufficient to prevent a future security breach or other disruption to our network or information systems, or those of our third-party providers, and our disaster recovery planning cannot account for all eventualities. Such an event could result in a disruption of our services, improper disclosure of personal data or confidential information, or theft or misuse of our intellectual property, all of which could harm our reputation, require us to expend resources to remedy such a security breach or defend against further attacks, divert management’s attention and resources or subject us to liability under laws that protect personal data, or otherwise adversely affect our business. While we maintain cyber risk insurance, the costs relating to any data breach could be substantial, and our insurance may not be sufficient to cover all losses related to any future breaches of our systems.
Our brand and reputation are key assets of the Company, and negative perceptions or publicity could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We believe The New York Times brand is a powerful and trusted brand with an excellent reputation for high-quality independent journalism and content, and this brand is a key element of our business. Our brand might be damaged by incidents that erode consumer trust (such as negative publicity), a perception that our journalism is unreliable or a decline in the perceived value of independent journalism. We may introduce new products or services that users do not like and that may negatively affect our brand. We also may fail to provide adequate customer service, which could erode confidence in our brand. Our reputation could also be damaged by failures of third-party vendors we rely on in many contexts. We are investing in defining and enhancing our brand. These investments are considerable and may not be successful. To the extent our brand and reputation are damaged, our ability to attract and retain readers, subscribers, advertisers and/or employees could be adversely affected, which could in turn have an adverse impact on our business, revenues and operating results.
Our international operations expose us to economic and other risks inherent in foreign operations.
We have news bureaus and other offices around the world, and our digital and print products are generally available globally. We are focused on further expanding the international scope of our business, and face the inherent risks associated with doing business abroad, including:
effectively managing and staffing foreign operations, including complying with local laws and regulations in each different jurisdiction;
providing for the safety and security of our journalists and other employees;
potential economic, legal, political or social uncertainty and volatility in local or global market conditions (e.g., as a result of the implementation of the United Kingdom’s referendum to withdraw membership from the European Union, commonly referred to as Brexit) or catastrophic events (e.g., a natural disaster, an act of terrorism, a pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of a disease or severe weather) that could adversely affect the companies with which we do business; cause changes in discretionary spending; or otherwise adversely impact our operations and business;
navigating local customs and practices;
government policies and regulations that restrict the digital flow of information, which could block access to, or the functionality of, our products, or other retaliatory actions or behavior by government officials;
protecting and enforcing our intellectual property and other rights under varying legal regimes;
complying with international laws and regulations, including those governing intellectual property, libel and defamation, consumer privacy and the collection, use, retention, sharing and security of consumer and staff data;
restrictions on the ability of U.S. companies to do business in foreign countries, including restrictions on foreign ownership, foreign investment or repatriation of funds;
higher-than-anticipated costs of entry; and
currency exchange rate fluctuations.
Adverse developments in any of these areas could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. For example, we may incur increased costs necessary to comply with existing and newly adopted laws and regulations or penalties for any failure to comply.


P. 10 – THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


In addition, we have limited experience in developing and marketing our digital products in certain international regions and non-English languages and could be at a disadvantage compared with local and multinational competitors.
Failure to comply with laws and regulations, including with respect to privacy, data protection and consumer marketing practices, could adversely affect our business.
Our business is subject to various laws and regulations of local and foreign jurisdictions, including laws and regulations with respect to privacy and the collection and use of personal data, as well as laws and regulations with respect to consumer marketing practices.
Various federal and state laws and regulations, as well as the laws of foreign jurisdictions, govern the processing (including the collection, use, retention and sharing) and security of the data we receive from and about individuals. Failure to protect confidential data, provide individuals with adequate notice of our privacy policies or obtain required valid consent, for example, could subject us to liabilities imposed by these jurisdictions. Existing privacy-related laws and regulations are evolving and subject to potentially differing interpretations, and various federal and state legislative and regulatory bodies, as well as foreign legislative and regulatory bodies, may expand current or enact new laws regarding privacy and data protection. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation adopted by the European Union imposes more stringent data protection requirements and significant penalties for noncompliance; California’s Consumer Privacy Act creates new data privacy rights; and the European Union’s forthcoming ePrivacy Regulation is expected to impose, with respect to electronic communications, stricter data protection and data processing requirements.
In addition, various federal and state laws and regulations, as well as the laws of foreign jurisdictions, govern the manner in which we market our subscription products, including with respect to pricing and subscription renewals. These laws and regulations often differ across jurisdictions.
Existing and newly adopted laws and regulations (or new interpretations of existing laws and regulations) have imposed and may continue to impose obligations that may affect our business, require us to incur increased compliance costs and cause us to further adjust our advertising or marketing practices. Any failure, or perceived failure, by us or the third parties upon which we rely to comply with laws and regulations that govern our business operations, as well as any failure, or perceived failure, by us or the third parties upon which we rely to comply with our own posted policies, could result in claims against us by governmental entities or others, negative publicity and a loss of confidence in us by our users and advertisers. Each of these potential consequences could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Acquisitions, divestitures, investments and other transactions could adversely affect our costs, revenues, profitability and financial position.
In order to position our business to take advantage of growth opportunities, we engage in discussions, evaluate opportunities and enter into agreements for possible acquisitions, divestitures, investments and other transactions. We may also consider the acquisition of, or investment in, specific properties, businesses or technologies that fall outside our traditional lines of business and diversify our portfolio, including those that may operate in new and developing industries, if we deem such properties sufficiently attractive.
Acquisitions may involve significant risks and uncertainties, including:
difficulties in integrating acquired businesses (including cultural challenges associated with integrating employees from the acquired company into our organization);
diversion of management attention from other business concerns or resources;
use of resources that are needed in other parts of our business;
possible dilution of our brand or harm to our reputation;
the potential loss of key employees;
risks associated with integrating financial reporting, internal control and information technology systems; and
other unanticipated problems and liabilities.


THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 11


Competition for certain types of acquisitions is significant. Even if successfully negotiated, closed and integrated, certain acquisitions or investments may prove not to advance our business strategy, may cause us to incur unanticipated costs or liabilities and may fall short of expected return on investment targets, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, we have divested and may in the future divest certain assets or businesses that no longer fit with our strategic direction or growth targets. Divestitures involve significant risks and uncertainties that could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. These include, among others, the inability to find potential buyers on favorable terms, disruption to our business and/or diversion of management attention from other business concerns, loss of key employees and possible retention of certain liabilities related to the divested business.
Finally, we have made investments in companies, and we may make similar investments in the future. Investments in these businesses subject us to the operating and financial risks of these businesses and to the risk that we do not have sole control over the operations of these businesses. Our investments are generally illiquid and the absence of a market may inhibit our ability to dispose of them. In addition, if the book value of an investment were to exceed its fair value, we would be required to recognize an impairment charge related to the investment.
The size and volatility of our pension plan obligations may adversely affect our operations, financial condition and liquidity.
We sponsor a frozen single-employer defined benefit pension plan. The Company and the NewsGuild of New York jointly sponsor a defined benefit plan that continues to accrue active benefits. Although we have frozen participation and benefits under our single employer plan, and have taken other steps to reduce the size and volatility of our pension plan obligations, our results of operations will be affected by the amount of income or expense we record for, and the contributions we are required to make to, these plans.
We are required to make contributions to our plans to comply with minimum funding requirements imposed by laws governing those plans. As of December 29, 2019, our qualified defined benefit pension plans were underfunded by approximately $12 million. Our obligation to make additional contributions to our plans, and the timing of any such contributions, depends on a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control. These include: legislative changes; assumptions about mortality; and economic conditions, including a low interest rate environment or sustained volatility and disruption in the stock and bond markets, which impact discount rates and returns on plan assets.
As a result of required contributions to our qualified pension plans, we may have less cash available for working capital and other corporate uses, which may have an adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.
In addition, the Company sponsors several non-qualified pension plans, with unfunded obligations totaling $248 million. Although we have frozen participation and benefits under all but one of these plans, and have taken other steps to reduce the size and volatility of our obligations under these plans, a number of factors, including changes in discount rates or mortality tables, may have an adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition.
Our participation in multiemployer pension plans may subject us to liabilities that could materially adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We participate in, and make periodic contributions to, various multiemployer pension plans that cover many of our current and former production and delivery employees. Our required contributions to these plans could increase because of a shrinking contribution base as a result of the insolvency or withdrawal of other companies that currently contribute to these plans, the inability or failure of withdrawing companies to pay their withdrawal liability, low interest rates, lower than expected returns on pension fund assets, other funding deficiencies, or potential legislative action. Our withdrawal liability for any multiemployer pension plan will depend on the nature and timing of any triggering event and the extent of that plan’s funding of vested benefits.
If a multiemployer pension plan in which we participate has significant underfunded liabilities, such underfunding will increase the size of our potential withdrawal liability. In addition, under federal pension law, special funding rules apply to multiemployer pension plans that are classified as “endangered,” “critical” or “critical and declining.” If plans in which we participate are in critical status, benefit reductions may apply and/or we could be required to make additional contributions.


P. 12 – THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


We have recorded significant withdrawal liabilities with respect to multiemployer pension plans in which we formerly participated (primarily in connection with the sales of the New England Media Group in 2013 and the Regional Media Group in 2012) and may record additional liabilities in the future. In addition, due to declines in our contributions, we have recorded withdrawal liabilities for actual and estimated partial withdrawals from several plans in which we continue to participate. Until demand letters from some of the multiemployer pension funds are received, the exact amount of the withdrawal liability will not be fully known and, as such, a difference from the recorded estimate could have an adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Several of the multiemployer plans in which we participate are specific to the newspaper industry, which continues to undergo significant pressure. A withdrawal by a significant percentage of participating employers may result in a mass withdrawal declaration by the trustees of one or more of these plans, which would require us to record additional withdrawal liabilities.  
If, in the future, we elect to withdraw from these plans or if we trigger a partial withdrawal due to declines in contribution base units or a partial cessation of our obligation to contribute, additional liabilities would need to be recorded that could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. Legislative changes could also affect our funding obligations or the amount of withdrawal liability we incur if a withdrawal were to occur.
A significant increase in the price of newsprint, or significant disruptions in our newsprint supply chain or newspaper printing and distribution channels, would have an adverse effect on our operating results.
The cost of raw materials, of which newsprint is the major component, represented approximately 5% of our total operating costs in 2019. The price of newsprint has historically been volatile and could increase as a result of various factors, including:
a reduction in the number of newsprint suppliers due to restructurings, bankruptcies, consolidations and conversions to other grades of paper;
increases in supplier operating expenses due to rising raw material or energy costs or other factors;
currency volatility;
tariffs on certain paper imports from Canada into United States; and
an inability to maintain existing relationships with our newsprint suppliers.
We also rely on suppliers for deliveries of newsprint, and the availability of our newsprint supply may be affected by various factors, including labor unrest, transportation issues and other disruptions that may affect deliveries of newsprint.
Outside the New York area, The Times is printed and distributed under contracts with print and distribution partners across the United States and internationally. Financial pressures, newspaper industry economics or other circumstances affecting these print and distribution partners could lead to reduced operations or consolidations of print sites and/or distribution routes, which could increase the cost of printing and distributing our newspapers.
If newsprint prices increase significantly or we experience significant disruptions in our newsprint supply chain or newspaper printing and distribution channels, our operating results may be adversely affected.
A significant number of our employees are unionized, and our business and results of operations could be adversely affected if labor agreements were to further restrict our ability to maximize the efficiency of our operations.
Approximately 43% of our full-time equivalent employees were represented by unions as of December 29, 2019, including editorial employees at Wirecutter who formed a union in 2019. As a result, we are required to negotiate the wage, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment with many of our employees collectively. Our results could be adversely affected if future labor negotiations or contracts were to further restrict our ability to maximize the efficiency of our operations, or if a larger percentage of our workforce were to be unionized. If we are unable to negotiate labor contracts on reasonable terms, or if we were to experience labor unrest or other business interruptions in connection with labor negotiations or otherwise, our ability to produce and deliver our products could be impaired. In addition, our ability to make adjustments to control compensation and benefits costs, change our strategy or otherwise adapt to changing business needs may be limited by the terms and duration of our collective bargaining agreements.


THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 13


We are subject to payment processing risk.
We accept payments using a variety of different payment methods, including credit and debit cards and direct debit. We rely on internal systems as well as those of third parties to process payments. Acceptance and processing of these payment methods are subject to certain certifications, rules and regulations. To the extent there are disruptions in our or third-party payment processing systems, material changes in the payment ecosystem, failure to recertify and/or changes to rules or regulations concerning payment processing, we could be subject to fines and/or civil liability, or lose our ability to accept credit and debit card payments, which would harm our reputation and adversely impact our results of operations.
Defects, delays or interruptions in the cloud-based hosting services we utilize could adversely affect our reputation and operating results.
We currently utilize third party subscription-based software services as well as public cloud infrastructure services to provide solutions for many of our computing and bandwidth needs. Any interruptions to these services generally could result in interruptions in service to our subscribers and advertisers and/or the Company’s critical business functions, notwithstanding any business continuity or disaster recovery plans or agreements that may currently be in place with these providers. This could result in unanticipated downtime and/or harm to our reputation and operating results.
Our business may suffer if we cannot protect our intellectual property.
Our business depends on our intellectual property, including our valuable brands, content, services and internally developed technology. We believe our proprietary trademarks and other intellectual property rights are important to our continued success and our competitive position. Unauthorized parties may attempt to copy or otherwise unlawfully obtain and use our content, services, technology and other intellectual property, and we cannot be certain that the steps we have taken to protect our proprietary rights will prevent any misappropriation or confusion among consumers and merchants, or unauthorized use of these rights.
Advancements in technology have made the unauthorized duplication and wide dissemination of content easier, making the enforcement of intellectual property rights more challenging. In addition, as our business and the risk of misappropriation of our intellectual property rights have become more global in scope, we may not be able to protect our proprietary rights in a cost-effective manner in a multitude of jurisdictions with varying laws.
If we are unable to procure, protect and enforce our intellectual property rights, including maintaining and monetizing our intellectual property rights to our content, we may not realize the full value of these assets, and our business and profitability may suffer. In addition, if we must litigate in the United States or elsewhere to enforce our intellectual property rights or determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others, such litigation may be costly.
We have been, and may be in the future, subject to claims of intellectual property infringement that could adversely affect our business.
We periodically receive claims from third parties alleging infringement, misappropriation or other violations of their copyright, patent, trademark and similar intellectual property rights. These third parties include rights holders seeking to monetize intellectual property they own or otherwise have rights to through asserting claims of infringement or misuse. Even if we believe that these claims of intellectual property infringement are without merit, defending against the claims can be time-consuming, be expensive to litigate or settle, and cause diversion of management attention.
These intellectual property infringement claims, if successful, may require us to enter into royalty or licensing agreements on unfavorable terms, use more costly alternative technology or otherwise incur substantial monetary liability. Additionally, these claims may require us to significantly alter certain of our operations. The occurrence of any of these events as a result of these claims could result in substantially increased costs or otherwise adversely affect our business.
The terms of our credit facility impose restrictions on our operations that could limit our ability to undertake certain actions.
In September 2019, we entered into a $250.0 million five-year unsecured credit facility (the “Credit Facility”). Certain of our domestic subsidiaries have guaranteed our obligations under the Credit Facility. As of December 29,


P. 14 – THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


2019, there were no outstanding borrowings under the Credit Facility. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources” for a description of the Credit Facility.
The Credit Facility contains various customary affirmative and negative covenants, including certain financial covenants and various incurrence-based negative covenants imposing potentially significant restrictions on our operations. These covenants restrict, subject to various exceptions, our ability to, among other things:
incur debt (directly or by third party guarantees);
grant liens;
pay dividends;
make investments;
make acquisitions or dispositions; and
prepay debt.
Any of these restrictions and limitations could make it more difficult for us to execute our business strategy.
We may not have access to the capital markets on terms that are acceptable to us or may otherwise be limited in our financing options.
From time to time the Company may need or desire to access the long-term and short-term capital markets to obtain financing. The Company’s access to, and the availability of, financing on acceptable terms and conditions in the future will be impacted by many factors, including, but not limited to: (1) the Company’s financial performance; (2) the Company’s credit ratings or absence of a credit rating; (3) liquidity of the overall capital markets and (4) the state of the economy. There can be no assurance that the Company will continue to have access to the capital markets on terms acceptable to it.
In addition, macroeconomic conditions, such as volatility or disruption in the credit markets, could adversely affect our ability to obtain financing to support operations or to fund acquisitions or other capital-intensive initiatives.
Our Class B Common Stock is principally held by descendants of Adolph S. Ochs, through a family trust, and this control could create conflicts of interest or inhibit potential changes of control.
We have two classes of stock: Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock. Holders of Class A Common Stock are entitled to elect 30% of the Board of Directors and to vote, with holders of Class B Common Stock, on the reservation of shares for equity grants, certain material acquisitions and the ratification of the selection of our auditors. Holders of Class B Common Stock are entitled to elect the remainder of the Board of Directors and to vote on all other matters. Our Class B Common Stock is principally held by descendants of Adolph S. Ochs, who purchased The Times in 1896. A family trust holds approximately 90% of the Class B Common Stock. As a result, the trust has the ability to elect 70% of the Board of Directors and to direct the outcome of any matter that does not require a vote of the Class A Common Stock. Under the terms of the trust agreement, the trustees are directed to retain the Class B Common Stock held in trust and to vote such stock against any merger, sale of assets or other transaction pursuant to which control of The Times passes from the trustees, unless they determine that the primary objective of the trust can be achieved better by the implementation of such transaction. Because this concentrated control could discourage others from initiating any potential merger, takeover or other change of control transaction that may otherwise be beneficial to our businesses, the market price of our Class A Common Stock could be adversely affected.
Adverse results from litigation or governmental investigations can impact our business practices and operating results.
From time to time, we are party to litigation, including matters relating to alleged libel or defamation and employment-related matters, as well as regulatory, environmental and other proceedings with governmental authorities and administrative agencies. See Note 20 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements regarding certain matters. Adverse outcomes in lawsuits or investigations could result in significant monetary damages or injunctive relief that could adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition as well as our ability to conduct our business as it is presently being conducted. In addition, regardless of merit or outcome, such proceedings can have an adverse impact on the Company as a result of legal costs, diversion of management and other personnel, and other factors.


THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 15


ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
Our principal executive offices are located at 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York, in our headquarters building, which was completed in 2007 and consists of approximately 1.54 million gross square feet (the “Company Headquarters”). We own a leasehold condominium interest representing approximately 828,000 gross square feet in the building. In December 2019, we repurchased the portion of the condominium interest that we had sold and simultaneously leased back in 2009 (the “Condo Interest”) for $245.3 million and, as a result, we now own our interest in the building unencumbered. As of December 29, 2019, we have leased approximately 12.5 floors to third parties.
In addition, we have a printing and distribution facility with 570,000 gross square feet located in College Point, N.Y., on a 31-acre site. In August 2019, we exercised our option to purchase the property, which was previously owned by the City of New York, for approximately $6.9 million.
As of December 29, 2019, we also owned other properties with an aggregate of approximately 3,000 gross square feet and leased other properties with an aggregate of approximately 231,000 rentable square feet in various locations.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
We are involved in various legal actions incidental to our business that are now pending against us. These actions are generally for amounts greatly in excess of the payments, if any, that may be required to be made. Although the Company cannot predict the outcome of these matters, it is possible that an unfavorable outcome in one or more matters could be material to the Company’s consolidated results of operations or cash flows for an individual reporting period. However, based on currently available information, management does not believe that the ultimate resolution of these matters, individually or in the aggregate, is likely to have a material effect on the Company’s financial position.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.



P. 16 – THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT
Name
 
Age
 
Employed By
Registrant Since
 

Recent Position(s) Held as of February 27, 2020
Mark Thompson
 
62
 
2012
 
President and Chief Executive Officer (since 2012); Director-General, British Broadcasting Corporation (2004 to 2012)
A.G. Sulzberger
 
39
 
2009
 
Publisher of The Times (since 2018); Deputy Publisher (2016 to 2017); Associate Editor (2015 to 2016); Assistant Editor (2012 to 2015)
R. Anthony Benten
 
56
 
1989
 
Senior Vice President, Treasurer (since December 2016) and Chief Accounting Officer (since 2019); Corporate Controller (2007 to 2019); Senior Vice President, Finance (2008 to 2016)
Diane Brayton
 
51
 
2004
 
Executive Vice President, General Counsel (since January 2017) and Secretary (since 2011); Deputy General Counsel (2016); Assistant Secretary (2009 to 2011) and Assistant General Counsel (2009 to 2016)
Roland A. Caputo
 
59
 
1986
 
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (since 2018); Executive Vice President, Print Products and Services Group (2013 to 2018); Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, The New York Times Media Group (2008 to 2013)
Meredith Kopit Levien
 
48
 
2013
 
Executive Vice President (since 2013) and Chief Operating Officer (since 2017); Chief Revenue Officer (2015 to 2017); Executive Vice President, Advertising (2013 to 2015); Chief Revenue Officer, Forbes Media LLC (2011 to 2013)



THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 17


PART II
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
MARKET INFORMATION
The Class A Common Stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “NYT”. The Class B Common Stock is unlisted and is not actively traded.
The number of security holders of record as of February 24, 2020, was as follows: Class A Common Stock: 5,129; Class B Common Stock: 24.
In February 2020, the Board of Directors approved a quarterly dividend of $0.06 per share. We currently expect to continue to pay comparable cash dividends in the future, although changes in our dividend program may be considered by our Board of Directors in light of our earnings, capital requirements, financial condition and other factors considered relevant. In addition, our Board of Directors will consider restrictions in any future indebtedness.
ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES(1) 
Period
 
Total number of
shares of Class A
Common Stock
purchased
(a)
 
Average
price paid
per share of
Class A
Common Stock
(b)
 
Total number of
shares of Class A
Common Stock
purchased
as part of
publicly
announced plans
or programs
(c)
 
Maximum 
number (or
approximate
dollar value)
of shares of
Class A
Common
Stock that may
yet be
purchased
under the plans
or programs
(d)
September 30, 2019 - November 3, 2019
 

 
$

 

 
$
16,236,612

November 4, 2019 - December 1, 2019
 

 
$

 

 
$
16,236,612

December 2, 2019 - December 29, 2019
 

 
$

 

 
$
16,236,612

Total for the fourth quarter of 2019
 

 
$

 

 
$
16,236,612

(1) 
On January 13, 2015, the Board of Directors approved an authorization of $101.1 million to repurchase shares of the Company’s Class A Common Stock. As of December 29, 2019, repurchases under this authorization totaled $84.9 million (excluding commissions), and $16.2 million remained. All purchases were made pursuant to our publicly announced share repurchase program. Our Board of Directors has authorized us to purchase shares from time to time, subject to market conditions and other factors. There is no expiration date with respect to this authorization.
UNREGISTERED SALES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
On October 11, 2019, we issued 4 shares of Class A Common Stock to a holder of Class B Common Stock upon the conversion of such Class B Common Stock into Class A Common Stock. The conversion, which was in accordance with our Certificate of Incorporation, did not involve a public offering and was exempt from registration pursuant to Section 3(a)(9) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.


P. 18 – THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


PERFORMANCE PRESENTATION
The following graph shows the annual cumulative total stockholder return for the five fiscal years ended December 29, 2019, on an assumed investment of $100 on December 28, 2014, in the Company, the Standard & Poor’s S&P 400 MidCap Stock Index and the Standard & Poor’s S&P 1500 Publishing and Printing Index. Stockholder return is measured by dividing (a) the sum of (i) the cumulative amount of dividends declared for the measurement period, assuming reinvestment of dividends, and (ii) the difference between the issuer’s share price at the end and the beginning of the measurement period, by (b) the share price at the beginning of the measurement period. As a result, stockholder return includes both dividends and stock appreciation.
Stock Performance Comparison Between the S&P 400 Midcap Index, S&P 1500 Publishing & Printing Index and The New York Times Company’s Class A Common Stock
stockperformancechart2019.jpg


THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 19


ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The Selected Financial Data should be read in conjunction with “Item 7 — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the Consolidated Financial Statements and the related Notes in Item 8. The results of operations for the New England Media Group, which was sold in 2013, have been presented as discontinued operations for all periods presented (see Note 14 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements). The pages following the table show certain items included in Selected Financial Data. Fiscal year 2017 comprised 53 weeks and all other fiscal years presented in the table below comprised 52 weeks.
 
 
As of and for the Years Ended
(In thousands)
 
December 29,
2019

 
December 30,
2018

 
December 31,
2017

 
December 25,
2016

 
December 27,
2015

 
 
(52 Weeks)
 
(52 Weeks)
 
(53 Weeks)
 
(52 Weeks)
 
(52 Weeks)
Statement of Operations Data
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues
 
$
1,812,184

 
$
1,748,598

 
$
1,675,639

 
$
1,555,342

 
$
1,579,215

Operating costs
 
1,634,639

 
1,558,778

 
1,493,278

 
1,419,416

 
1,385,840

Headquarters redesign and consolidation
 

 
4,504

 
10,090

 

 

Restructuring charge
 
4,008

 

 

 
16,518

 

(Gain)/loss from pension liability adjustment
 
(2,045
)
 
(4,851
)
 
(4,320
)
 
6,730

 
9,055

Operating profit
 
175,582

 
190,167

 
176,591

 
112,678

 
184,320

Other components of net periodic benefit costs
 
7,302

 
8,274

 
64,225

 
11,074

 
47,735

Gain/(loss) from joint ventures
 

 
10,764

 
18,641

 
(36,273
)
 
(783
)
Interest expense and other, net
 
3,820

 
16,566

 
19,783

 
34,805

 
39,050

Income from continuing operations before income taxes
 
164,460

 
176,091

 
111,224

 
30,526

 
96,752

Income from continuing operations
 
139,966

 
127,460

 
7,268

 
26,105

 
62,842

Loss from discontinued operations, net of income taxes
 

 

 
(431
)
 
(2,273
)
 

Net income attributable to The New York Times Company common stockholders
 
139,966

 
125,684

 
4,296

 
29,068

 
63,246

Balance Sheet Data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities
 
$
683,912

 
$
826,363

 
$
732,911

 
$
737,526

 
$
904,551

Property, plant and equipment, net
 
627,121

 
638,846

 
640,939

 
596,743

 
632,439

Total assets
 
2,089,138

 
2,197,123

 
2,099,780

 
2,185,395

 
2,417,690

Total debt and capital lease obligations
 

 
253,630

 
250,209

 
246,978

 
431,228

Total New York Times Company stockholders’ equity
 
1,172,003

 
1,040,781

 
897,279

 
847,815

 
826,751





P. 20 – THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


 
 
As of and for the Years Ended
(In thousands, except ratios, per share
and employee data)
 
December 29,
2019

 
December 30,
2018

 
December 31,
2017

 
December 25,
2016

 
December 27,
2015

 
(52 Weeks)
 
(52 Weeks)
 
(53 Weeks)
 
(52 Weeks)
 
(52 Weeks)
Per Share of Common Stock
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic earnings/(loss) per share attributable to The New York Times Company common stockholders:
Income from continuing operations
 
$
0.84

 
$
0.76

 
$
0.03

 
$
0.19

 
$
0.38

Loss from discontinued operations, net of income taxes
 

 

 

 
(0.01
)
 

Net income
 
$
0.84

 
$
0.76

 
$
0.03

 
$
0.18

 
$
0.38

Diluted earnings/(loss) per share attributable to The New York Times Company common stockholders: 
Income from continuing operations
 
$
0.83

 
$
0.75

 
$
0.03

 
$
0.19

 
$
0.38

Loss from discontinued operations, net of income taxes
 

 

 

 
(0.01
)
 

Net income
 
$
0.83

 
$
0.75

 
$
0.03

 
$
0.18

 
$
0.38

Dividends declared per share
 
$
0.20

 
$
0.16

 
$
0.16

 
$
0.16

 
$
0.16

New York Times Company stockholders’ equity per diluted common share
 
$
7.00

 
$
6.23

 
$
5.46

 
$
5.21

 
$
4.97

Average basic common shares outstanding
 
166,042

 
164,845

 
161,926

 
161,128

 
164,390

Average diluted common shares outstanding
 
167,545

 
166,939

 
164,263

 
162,817

 
166,423

Key Ratios
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating profit to revenues
 
9.7
%
 
10.9
%
 
10.5
%
 
7.2
%
 
11.7
%
Return on average common stockholders’ equity
 
12.7
%
 
13.0
%
 
0.5
%
 
3.5
%
 
8.1
%
Return on average total assets
 
6.5
%
 
5.8
%
 
0.2
%
 
1.3
%
 
2.5
%
Total debt and capital lease obligations to total capitalization
 
%
 
19.6
%
 
21.8
%
 
22.6
%
 
34.3
%
Current assets to current liabilities
 
1.64

 
1.33

 
1.80

 
2.00

 
1.53

Full-Time Equivalent Employees
 
4,500

 
4,320

 
3,789

 
3,710

 
3,560

The items below are included in the Selected Financial Data. As a result of the adoption of ASU 2017-07 during the first quarter of 2018, the Company has recast the respective prior periods to conform with the current period presentation.
2019
The items below had a net unfavorable effect on our Income from continuing operations of $14.5 million, or $.09 per share:
$13.5 million of pre-tax expenses ($10.0 million after tax, or $.06 per share) for non-operating retirement costs;
a $4.0 million pre-tax charge ($3.0 million after tax or $.02 per share) related to restructuring charges, including impairment and severance charges related to the closure of our digital marketing agency, HelloSociety, LLC;
a $4.0 million pre-tax charge ($3.0 million after tax, or $.02 per share) for severance costs; and
a $2.0 million pre-tax gain ($1.5 million after tax, or $.01 per share) from a multiemployer pension plan liability adjustment. See Note 10 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more information on this item.


THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 21


2018
The items below had a net unfavorable effect on our Income from continuing operations of $7.3 million, or $.05 per share:
$15.3 million of pre-tax expenses ($11.2 million after tax, or $.07 per share) for non-operating retirement costs;
an $11.3 million pre-tax gain ($8.5 million after tax or $.05 per share) reflecting our proportionate share of a distribution from the sale of assets by Madison Paper Industries (“Madison”), a partnership that previously operated a paper mill, in which the Company has an investment through a subsidiary. See Note 6 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more information on this item;
a $6.7 million pre-tax charge ($4.9 million after tax, or $.03 per share) for severance costs;
a $4.9 million pre-tax gain ($3.6 million after tax or $.02 per share) from a multiemployer pension plan liability adjustment. See Note 10 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more information on this item; and
a $4.5 million pre-tax charge ($3.3 million after tax or $.02 per share) in connection with the redesign and consolidation of space in our Company Headquarters. See Note 8 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more information on this item.
2017 (53-week fiscal year)
The items below had a net unfavorable effect on our Income from continuing operations of $119.9 million, or $.73 per share:
$102.1 million of pre-tax pension settlement charges ($61.5 million after tax, or $.37 per share) in connection with the transfer of certain pension benefit obligations to insurers (in connection with the adoption of ASU 2017-07 this amount was reclassified to “Other components of net periodic benefit costs” below “Operating profit”);
a $68.7 million charge ($.42 per share) primarily attributable to the remeasurement of our net deferred tax assets required as a result of tax legislation;
a $37.1 million pre-tax gain ($22.3 million after tax, or $.14 per share) primarily in connection with the settlement of contractual funding obligations for a postretirement plan (in connection with the adoption of ASU 2017-07, $32.7 million relating to the postretirement plan was reclassified to “Other components of net periodic benefit costs” below “Operating profit” while the contractual gain of $4.3 million remains in “Multiemployer pension and other contractual gains” within “Operating profit”);
a $23.9 million pre-tax charge ($14.4 million after tax, or $.09 per share) for severance costs;
a $15.3 million net pre-tax gain ($9.4 million after tax, or $.06 per share) from joint ventures consisting of (i) a $30.1 million gain related to the sale of the remaining assets of Madison, (ii) an $8.4 million loss reflecting our proportionate share of Madison’s settlement of pension obligations, and (iii) a $6.4 million loss from the sale of our 49% equity interest in Donahue Malbaie Inc. (“Malbaie”), a Canadian newsprint company;
a $10.1 million pre-tax charge ($6.1 million after tax, or $.04 per share) in connection with the redesign and consolidation of space in our Company Headquarters; and
$1.5 million of pre-tax expenses ($0.9 million after tax, or $.01 per share) for non-operating retirement costs;
2016
The items below had a net unfavorable effect on our Income from continuing operations of $60.2 million, or $.37 per share:
a $37.5 million pre-tax loss ($22.8 million after tax, or $.14 per share) from joint ventures related to the announced closure of the paper mill operated by Madison;
a $21.3 million pre-tax pension settlement charge ($12.8 million after tax, or $.08 per share) in connection with lump-sum payments made under an immediate pension benefits offer to certain former employees (in


P. 22 – THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


connection with the adoption of ASU 2017-07 this amount was reclassified to “Other components of net periodic benefit costs” below “Operating profit”);
an $18.8 million pre-tax charge ($11.3 million after tax, or $.07 per share) for severance costs;
a $16.5 million pre-tax charge ($9.8 million after tax, or $.06 per share) in connection with the streamlining of the Company’s international print operations (primarily consisting of severance costs), (in connection with the adoption of ASU 2017-07, $1.7 million related to a gain from the pension curtailment previously included with this special item was reclassified to “Other components of net periodic benefit costs” below “Operating profit”);
a $6.7 million pre-tax charge ($4.0 million after tax or $.02 per share) for a partial withdrawal obligation under a multiemployer pension plan following an unfavorable arbitration decision;
a $5.5 million of pre-tax expenses ($3.3 million after tax, or $.02 per share) for non-operating retirement costs; and
a $3.8 million income tax benefit ($.02 per share) primarily due to a reduction in the Company’s reserve for uncertain tax positions.
2015
The items below had a net unfavorable effect on our Income from continuing operations of $47.3 million, or $.28 per share:
a $40.3 million pre-tax pension settlement charge ($24.0 million after tax, or $.14 per share) in connection with lump-sum payments made under an immediate pension benefits offer to certain former employees;
$22.9 million of pre-tax expenses ($13.7 million after tax, or $.08 per share) for non-operating retirement costs;
a $9.1 million pre-tax charge ($5.4 million after tax, or $.03 per share) for partial withdrawal obligations under multiemployer pension plans; and
a $7.0 million pre-tax charge ($4.2 million after tax, or $.03 per share) for severance costs.
The following table reconciles other components of net periodic benefit costs, to the comparable non-GAAP metric, non-operating retirement costs:
 
 
Years Ended
(In thousands)
 
December 29,
2019

 
December 30,
2018

 
December 31,
2017

 
December 25,
2016

 
December 27,
2015

 
(52 Weeks)
 
(52 Weeks)
 
(53 Weeks)
 
(52 Weeks)
 
(52 Weeks)
Other components of net periodic benefit costs:
 
7,302

 
8,274

 
64,225

 
11,074

 
47,735

Add: Multiemployer pension plan withdrawal costs
 
6,183

 
7,002

 
6,599

 
14,001

 
15,537

Less: Special Items
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pension settlement expense
 

 

 
102,109

 
21,294

 
40,329

Postretirement benefit plan settlement gain
 

 

 
(32,737
)
 

 

Pension curtailment gain
 

 

 

 
(1,683
)
 

Non-operating retirement costs
 
13,485

 
15,276

 
1,452

 
5,464

 
22,943




THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 23


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis provides information that management believes is relevant to an assessment and understanding of our consolidated financial condition as of December 29, 2019, and results of operations for the two years ended December 29, 2019. Please read this item together with our Consolidated Financial Statements and the related Notes included in this Annual Report. We have omitted discussion of 2017 results where it would be redundant to the discussion previously included in Part II, Item 7 of our 2018 Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed with the SEC on February 26, 2019.
Significant components of the management’s discussion and analysis of results of operations and financial condition section include:
 
 
 
 
PAGE
Executive Overview:
The executive overview section provides a summary of The New York Times Company and our business
The results of operations section provides an analysis of our results on a consolidated basis for the two years ended December 29, 2019.
The non-operating items section provides an analysis of our non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures for the two years ended December 29, 2019.
The liquidity and capital resources section provides a discussion of our cash flows for the two years ended December 29, 2019, restricted cash, capital expenditures, and of our outstanding debt, commitments and contingencies existing as of December 29, 2019.
The critical accounting policies and estimates section provides detail with respect to accounting policies that are considered by management to require significant judgment and use of estimates and that could have a significant impact on our financial statements.
The pension and other postretirement benefits section provides a discussion on our benefit plans.
EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW
We are a global media organization that includes our newspaper, print and digital products and related businesses. We have one reportable segment with businesses that include our newspaper, websites and mobile applications.
We generate revenues principally from subscriptions and advertising. Other revenues primarily consist of revenues from licensing, commercial printing, the leasing of floors in our Company Headquarters, affiliate referrals, television and film (primarily from our television series, “The Weekly”), NYT Live (our live events business) and retail commerce.
Our main operating costs are employee-related costs.
In the accompanying analysis of financial information, we present certain information derived from consolidated financial information but not presented in our financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”). We are presenting in this report supplemental non-GAAP financial performance measures that exclude depreciation, amortization, severance, non-operating retirement costs and certain identified special items, as applicable. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation from or as a substitute for the related GAAP measures, and should be read in conjunction with financial information presented on a GAAP basis. For further information and reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures, see “— Results of Operations — Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”


P. 24 – THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY


We believe that a number of factors and industry trends have, and will continue to, present risks and challenges to our business. For a detailed discussion of certain factors that could affect our business, results of operations and financial condition, see “Item 1A — Risk Factors.”
2019 Financial Highlights
In 2019, diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.83, compared with $0.75 for 2018. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations excluding severance, non-operating retirement costs and special items discussed below (or “adjusted diluted earnings per share,” a non-GAAP measure) were $0.92 for 2019, compared with $0.81 for 2018.
Operating profit in 2019 was $175.6 million, compared with $190.2 million for 2018. The decrease was mainly driven by higher operating costs, lower print advertising revenue and lower print subscription revenue, partially offset by higher digital subscription revenues and other revenues. Operating profit before depreciation, amortization, severance, multiemployer pension plan withdrawal costs and special items discussed below (or “adjusted operating profit,” a non-GAAP measure) was $248.4 million and $262.6 million for 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Total revenues increased 3.6% to $1.81 billion in 2019 from $1.75 billion in 2018 primarily driven by an increase in digital subscription revenue as well as increases in other revenues, partially offset by a decrease in print advertising revenue and print subscription revenue. Total digital revenues increased to approximately $801 million in 2019 compared with $709 million in 2018.
Subscription revenues increased 4.0% to $1.08 billion in 2019 and advertising revenues decreased 4.9% to $531 million in 2019. Other revenues increased 33.8% in 2019 largely due to revenue earned from our television series, “The Weekly,” as well as growth in commercial printing operations, and higher rental revenue from the lease of additional space in our Company Headquarters. Digital other revenues totaled $79.8 million in 2019, an approximately 61% increase compared with 2018, driven primarily by television and film revenue associated with our television series, “The Weekly.”
Operating costs increased in 2019 to $1.63 billion from $1.56 billion in 2018, driven by growth in the number of newsroom and product development employees, higher marketing expenses incurred to promote our brand and products and grow our subscriber base, and higher content costs, including costs related to our television series, “The Weekly,” partially offset by lower print production and distribution costs related to our newspaper. Operating costs before depreciation, amortization, severance and multiemployer pension plan withdrawal costs (or “adjusted operating costs,” a non-GAAP measure) increased in 2019 to $1.56 billion from $1.49 billion in 2018.
Our Strategy
We continue to operate during a period of transformation in our industry, which has presented both challenges to and opportunities for the Company. We believe that the following priorities will be key to our strategic efforts.
Producing the best journalism
We believe that The Times’s original and high-quality reporting, storytelling and journalistic excellence across topics and formats set us apart from other news organizations and is at the heart of what makes our journalism worth paying for.
During 2019, The Times again broke stories and produced investigative reports that sparked global conversations on wide-ranging topics. Our ground-breaking journalism continues to be recognized, most notably in the number of Pulitzer prizes The Times has received — more than any other news organization. In addition, we have made significant investments in our newsroom, adding journalistic talent across a wide range of areas and continuing to invest in visual and audio journalism.
Our highly popular news podcast, The Daily, which we launched in 2017, reached one billion total downloads, and has laid the groundwork for a number of new podcasts. In addition, the launch of television programs based on Times content has provided additional ways for audiences to experience our original and high-quality journalism.
We recently announced a price increase on a subset of our digital news subscription base — the first since our launch of the digital pay model in 2011. We believe that our subscribers understand the value of high-quality independent journalism and the importance of ensuring the continued quality, breadth and depth of our report.


THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY – P. 25


In 2020, we expect to make significant further investments in our journalism and remain committed to providing trustworthy, interesting and relevant content that we believe sets The Times apart.
Growing our audience and strengthening engagement to support subscription growth
We continue to focus on expanding our audience reach, strengthening the engagement of users and demonstrating why independent, high-quality journalism is worth paying for.
During the year, we made further enhancements to our core digital news product to optimize user experience and improve engagement. We also made significant changes to our access model, reducing the number of articles per month that users can access without registering. We believe these changes — which have led to a significant increase in registered users — have strengthened our direct relationships with readers and supported our digital subscription growth efforts.
We also made further enhancements to our existing digital standalone products and services, including our Crossword and Cooking products and Wirecutter, and invested in new formats through which to deliver our high-quality journalism and engage audiences globally.
The Company added over one million net digital subscriptions in 2019, the most annual subscription additions in our history. We believe that this significant growth demonstrates the continued success of our “subscription-first” strategy. As of December 29, 2019, we had approximately 5.3 million total subscriptions to our products, more than at any point in our history, and we remain focused on our goal to reach 10 million subscriptions by 2025.
We also experimented further with reaching new audiences on third-party platforms, while continuing to build direct relationships on our own platforms. During the year, we announced our participation in Facebook News, which provides users access to headlines and short summaries of Times articles and directs readers to our platform for access to complete stories. We believe this multi-year licensing arrangement represents a significant positive step in our relationship with large digital platforms.
Finally, we continued to invest in brand marketing initiatives to reinforce the importance of deeply reported independent journalism and the value of The Times brand.
Looking ahead, we will explore additional opportunities to grow and engage our audience, further innovate our products and invest in brand marketing initiatives, while remaining committed to creating high-quality journalism that sets The Times apart.
Improving our efficiency and effectiveness to grow our long-term profitability
We are focused on becoming a more effective and efficient organization and have continued to take steps to maximize the long-term profitability of the Company.
In addition to increasing our digital subscription revenue, we remain focused on growing high-margin digital advertising revenue by developing innovative and compelling advertising offerings that integrate well with the user experience and provide value to advertisers. We believe we have a powerful brand that, because of the quality of our journalism, attracts educated, affluent and influential audiences, and provides a safe and trusted platform for advertisers’ brands. We will continue to focus on leveraging our brand in developing and refining our advertising offerings.
In recent years, we have realigned our organizational structure to improve the speed and effectiveness of our product development process and optimize our data and technology platforms. We are also focused on maximizing the efficiency and profitability of our print products and services, which remain a significant part of our business. Looking ahead, we will apply disciplined cost-management across the organization to fund continued investment in our business and support long-term profitable growth.
Effectively managing our liquidity and our non-operating costs
We have continued to strengthen our liquidity position and further de-leverage and de-risk our balance sheet. As of December 29, 2019, the Company had cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities of approximately $684 million. In December 2019, we repurchased a portion of the Company’s leasehold condominium interest in our Company Headquarters for $245.3 million, and had no remaining debt as of December 29, 2019.
In addition, we remain focused on managing our pension plan obligations. We have taken steps over the last several years to reduce the size and volatility of our pension obligations, including freezing accruals under all but one


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of our qualified defined benefit pension plans, making immediate pension benefits offers in the form of lump-sum payments to certain former employees and transferring certain future benefit obligations and administrative costs to insurers.
Our qualified pension plans were underfunded (meaning the present value of future benefits obligations exceeded the fair value of plan assets) as of December 29, 2019, by approximately $12 million, compared with approximately $81 million as of December 30, 2018. We made contributions of approximately $10 million to certain qualified pension plans in 2019, compared with approximately $8 million in 2018. We expect to make contributions in 2020 to satisfy minimum funding requirements of approximately $9 million. We will continue to look for ways to reduce the size and volatility of our pension obligations.
While we have made significant progress in our liability-driven investment strategy to reduce the funding volatility of our qualified pension plans, the size of our pension plan obligations relative to the size of our current operations will continue to have an impact on our reported financial results. We expect to continue to experience volatility in our retirement-related costs, including pension, multiemployer pension and retiree medical costs.


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RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Overview
Fiscal years 2019 and 2018 each comprised 52 weeks. The following table presents our consolidated financial results:
 
 
Years Ended
% Change
(In thousands)
 
December 29,
2019

 
December 30,
2018

 
2019 vs. 2018

Revenues
 
 
 
 
 
 
Subscription
 
$
1,083,851

 
$
1,042,571

 
4.0

Advertising
 
530,678

 
558,253

 
(4.9
)
Other
 
197,655

 
147,774

 
33.8

Total revenues
 
1,812,184

 
1,748,598

 
3.6

Operating costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
Production costs:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wages and benefits
 
424,070

 
380,678

 
11.4

Raw materials
 
75,904

 
76,542

 
(0.8
)
Other production costs
 
206,381

 
196,956

 
4.8

Total production costs
 
706,355

 
654,176

 
8.0

Selling, general and administrative costs
 
867,623

 
845,591

 
2.6

Depreciation and amortization
 
60,661

 
59,011

 
2.8

Total operating costs 
 
1,634,639

 
1,558,778

 
4.9

Headquarters redesign and consolidation
 

 
4,504

 
*

Restructuring charge
 
4,008

 

 
*

Gain from pension liability adjustment
 
(2,045
)
 
(4,851
)
 
(57.8
)
Operating profit
 
175,582

 
190,167

 
(7.7
)
Other components of net periodic benefit costs
 
7,302

 
8,274

 
(11.7
)
Gain from joint ventures
 

 
10,764

 
*

Interest expense and other, net
 
3,820

 
16,566

 
(76.9
)
Income from continuing operations before income taxes
 
164,460

 
176,091

 
(6.6
)
Income tax expense
 
24,494

 
48,631

 
(49.6
)
Net income
 
139,966

 
127,460

 
9.8