The ‘Times’ in 2015? Plus, clergy group mounts pressure on top Village Voice Media advertisers

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The New York Times Building. ()
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The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.

Tough Times

After yesterday's New York Times Co. earnings report, in which surging net income was a bright spot amid the gloom of ongoing advertising revenue declines, Columbia Journalism Review's Ryan Chittum asks: "Will The New York Times Company survive as a stand-alone firm past 2015?"

His thoughts on the matter:

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Again, the point is not that The New York Times Company is all well. It’s obviously not. And it just might be better off in the long run with a Michael Bloomberg-style owner. Its medium-to-long-term health as a stand-alone company will depend on its ability to slowly draw down print advertising and circulation while and replacing that revenue with digital ads and subscriptions.

Right now, for the first time in a long time, the company isn’t bleeding to death and it has added a fast-growing revenue stream to a stable, slow-growing one.

But if print ads start tumbling 20 percent a year again all of a sudden, all bets are off.

Meanwhile, contract negotiations between management and the union that represents Times journalmists continue to heat up.

At issue? Pensions.

More on that in the video below. [Hat tip: The Huffington Post]:

Exodus

As we reported Wednesday, two more advertisers have pulled out of Village Voice Media as a result of the negative publicity surrounding the adult services section of the company's classified cash cow, Backpage.com, where underage girls are allegedly trafficked by pimps.

Now the activist clergy group that has been leading the charge against Backpage has launched a new campaign to "educate" the 50 top advertisers who do business with the company, which owns The Village Voice and other weekly papers around the country, about Backpage.

“Businesses advertising in Village Voice Media publications must be informed of the controversy surrounding the sex ads of minors onBackpage.com," said Rev. Dr. Katherine Henderson, president of the Auburn Seminary, in a news release issued yesterday. "Once these companies become aware of all the facts, we are confident they will join us in encouraging Village Voice Media to take the morally right step and shut down the Adult section of Backpage.com.”

Attorneys for Village Voice Media have said the company closely monitors the adult ads and that shutting down Backpage would not only fail to stop sex-trafficking, but force it further underground and out of sight from law enforcement.

The adult ads on Backpage reportedly generate some $24 million in annual revenue.

Addition to the airwaves

Japanese TV has come to New York.

NHK World TV, a 24-hour English-language news channel produced by Japan's sole independent public broadcaster, launched today in the New York area via Time Warner Cable and the Regional News Network.

The Peabody-winning channel will be available to more than 7 million viewers here, according to a press release.

"NHK WORLD TV is expanding to New York because we believe there is a market for a U.S. audience interested in Asian programming, focusing on breaking news from the region, Japanese culture, developments in society/politics and on being a key source for natural disasters news,” says Tetsushi Wakita, head of NHK WORLD, in a statement.

If you live in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn or Staten Island, you can check it out on channel 771.

In other news...

U.K. phone-hacking lawyer Mark Lewis and his two New York-based counterparts briefed reporters on the state of their case in the U.S. yesterday. [The Guardian / HuffPost]

Rumored Variety suitors; Bob Kappstatter lands at The Bronx Times. [Media Ink/The New York Post]

Crain's editor Xana Antunes, formerly an editor of The New York Post, has been ousted. [Talking Biz News]

Intimidation campaign against USA Today journalists. [USA Today]

John Koblin mocks ESPN's "dogged legwork." [Deadspin]

A marquee CNN journalist and a Fox News contributor were on board to live-tweet yesterday's emergency landing of a Delta flight out of JFK. [The New York Observer]

Rebecca Dana and Jesse Angelo are engaged, Mediaite has a new editor, and other Manhattan media gossip. [The New York Observer]

The "God Hates Fags" people are slated to speak to college journalism classes. [Jim Romenesko]