NYT swings to a Q2 loss on $195M About.com charge; digital circ up 13%

Gigaom

For a time, About.com, acquired for $410 million in 2005, was the bright spot in New York Times(s nyt) earnings season. Those days are a blur in the rearview mirror, reflected in the second-quarter earnings released Thursday with a $194.5 million writedown of good will. The non-cash charge helped NYTCo to a $143.6 million loss for the quarter compared with a profit of $31.5 million for the same quarter in 2011.

But the company said favorable trends at About.com, particularly in cost-per-click advertising, helped improve digital advertising results and kept its overall advertising decline down compared to Q1. From Chairman and acting CEO Arthur Sulzberger Jr.’s statement: “Although we recorded a non-cash charge in the quarter, the About Group continues to execute on its turnaround strategy and we expect it to be on track to post continued meaningful improvement in the second half of the year.”

The About.com charge stole…

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