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News Analysis: New York media dynasty breathes easier after strong results

Yesterday, the publisher of the New York Times announced better-than-expected results.
 
The news will cheer up the Ochs-Sulzberger family that controls one of America's most revered newspaper titles.
 
The New York Times Company said revenues were up just over 1% year-on-year in the second quarter to $589 million, compared with a 3% decline in the first quarter.
 
While the rise in revenue isn't exactly earth shattering, it was achieved by a jump in advertising revenue, rather than cost cutting. Online ad revenue rose 21% year-on-year.
 
For the Ochs-Sulzbergers, the better results couldn't have come any sooner.
 
American commentators have been making dire predictions about the future of the esteemed publishing company that also owns the Boston Globe and numerous regional newspapers.
 
Last year, the Huffington Post ran a story that raised the possibility that insolvency could be a year or two a way for the New York Times.
 
With debts of more than $600 million bearing down on the publisher, the grim forecasts weren't outlandish. 
 
No wonder some saw the Ochs-Sulzbergers suffering the same fate as the Bancrofts, the former owners of the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, who sold out to Rupert Murdoch's News International empire after a protracted battle, albeit making a tidy sum in the process.
 
But the Ochs-Sulzberger's show little appetite to sell. Unlike the Bancrofts, members of the family are actively involved in the business, with Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr (pictured) publisher and chairman of the board of the publishing company. His son is also a reporter on the New York Times.
 
Moreover, the family still control around 80% of the voting shares of the publishing company, and aren't about to dilute this, say well-informed sources.
 
But the Ochs-Sulzbergers will want to see a few quarters of strong growth in advertising revenues before they can feel the pressure is really off.
 
Not least because there are many newspaper proprietors who would be keen to get control of the iconic newspaper - not least the Murdochs.

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