Tech

The New York Times, which Trump often derides as 'failing,' says 2019 was a record year for digital growth

Key Points
  • The company doubled its annual digital revenue to $800 million in four years, according to the numbers released on Tuesday.
  • The Times achieved that milestone one year ahead of its goal to double digital revenue by the end of 2020.
  • The Times now boasts 5 million total subscriptions, according to the company's numbers.
The New York Times building.
AP

The New York Times, which President Donald Trump often describes as "failing," said in an investor release on Tuesday that 2019 was a record year for digital growth.

The New York Times said it added 1 million net digital subscriptions in 2019, which is its highest annual growth for that figure since the company launched its digital model in 2011. It now has 5 million total subscriptions, according to the company. The company doubled its annual digital revenue to $800 million in four years, one year ahead of its original goal to do so.

"The total includes 3.4 million core news subscriptions, more than 300,000 to NYT Cooking and 600,000 to NYT Crossword, as well as nearly 900,000 print subscriptions," the company explained.

The circumstances facing The New York Times Company when CEO and President Mark Thompson took over in November 2012 were bleak. Quarterly advertising revenue had fallen 9% and net income was down over 80% year over year.

Since then, The New York Times stock has more than tripled in value, according to data compiled by FactSet. Thompson told CNBC in June of last year that the company continues to grow thanks to an emphasis on quality journalism and a commitment to digital readers.

"Our model is a very simple model which is we should invest in great content," Thompson told CNBC at the time. "The future of journalism is make more journalism ... and then figure out smart ways to put that in front of people and asking them to support that journalism."

It's just one example of how companies can succeed in the digital media industry, which has seen turmoil in recent years. Newsrooms around the globe have been forced to cut staff or shut down entirely in an increasingly competitive market for readers and ad dollars.

The New York Times Company will release its full fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 earnings on Feb. 6.

-- CNBC's Joe Andrews contributed to this report.

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