NY Times CEO sees improvement in ad economy

Things are still pretty tough for The New York Times Co. (NYT), but they're getting better. The publisher reported a $35.6 million loss in the third quarter of 2009, considerably better than analysts had expected. And, on an earnings call to discuss the results, Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson suggested that the outlook is finally improving.

"We have seen encouraging signs of improvement in the overall economy and in discussions with our advertisers," Robinson said. She even predicted a "modest return" of classified ad spending, whose drop-off is widely seen as more secular than cyclical, "when the economic winds blow more in everyone's favor."