Times Co. Nearing Sale of Red Sox

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While its revenues are still falling, the owner of the Boston Globe reported unexpected profits Thursday. What that means to the future of the Globe is unclear.

The New York Times Co. said aggressive cost cutting helped it post a $23 million profit for its second quarter. That's down nearly 50 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago, but considerably higher than many analysts expected.

The company said it cut its operating costs by 20 percent to manage its revenue falloff, following a pattern that also emerged in recent earnings reports from fellow newspaper publishers Gannett Co. and McClatchy Co.

The Times Co. revealed that it expects to complete the sale of its stake in the Boston Red Sox by the end of the year. "The bidding process is underway, and we expect that this transaction will be closed around the end of the year," said company president Janet Robinson.

The Times owns 17.5 percent of New England Sports Ventures, the company that owns the Red Sox, Fenway Park and New England Sports Network.

Robinson refused to comment on the possible sale of the Globe, which she called "speculation."

"We regularly review our portfolio of properties to make sure they are meeting financial targets," Robinson said. "The recent revenue and expense initiatives we took at the Globe helped put it on stronger financial footing."

While ad revenue is down for all its papers, The Times says circulation revenue is up slightly because of increased prices for both the Globe and The Times.

This program aired on July 23, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.