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New York Times trims inserts

The New York Times Co. is trimming production of its T magazine.

The insert, which launched in 2004, grew tremendously in both frequency and ad pages through 2007, when it started publishing 15 annual issues. This year, however, that number will drop to 13 issues. Additional “bonus pages” of T will appear in the The New York Times Sunday Magazine twice this year.

“We’ve experienced five years of consecutive growth, building to a 15-issue schedule,” said Diane McNulty, executive director of community affairs and media relations for the New York Times Co., in an e-mail to DMNews. “This year, because of the economic pressures in the industry,  two of the issues are becoming bonus sections of the Sunday Magazine. Those issues are Women’s Fashion Summer 2009 (which will now be part of the May 3 issue of the Sunday Magazine) and Design & Living Summer 2009 (which will now be part of the May 31 issue of the Sunday Magazine).”

The March 15 issue of Key, the Times’ periodical real estate insert, also will be reduced to a bonus section of the Sunday magazine.

“This should come as no surprise given the real estate market,” McNulty said. “We launched Key three years ago, in lockstep with the real estate boom. If real estate slowed down we [planned to] reduce it back to bonus pages in The Magazine.”

Its multiple magazines and inserts helped spur the New York Times’ ad revenues in earlier years. Now, however, their value is less certain, as the high-end advertisers who once filled their pages pull back on their own marketing budgets.

In response to the wavering ad revenue, McNulty said, the Times has introduced new ad units in print and online. The company’s ad revenues for the fourth quarter of 2008 were down 17.6%. At the Times Media Group, industries showing the largest decline in advertising included entertainment, telecommunications and books, but corporate advertising, especially energy-related companies, financial Services and advocacy performed relatively well. Circulation revenues were up 3.7% in the quarter.

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