The New York Times is leading the widening slump in the nation’s newspaper profits due to rising paper costs and shrinking advertising deals.

The Times, Newsday parent Tribune Co., and McClatchy Co. – which is buying the Miami Herald and its Knight Kidder parent – yesterday reported lower quarterly earnings.

The weak earnings came just a day following a similar gloomy report from the nation’s largest group, Gannett, whose papers include USA Today.

Analysts say newspapers are pressured by circulation declines, higher costs and loss of ad dollars to the Internet and other new media. The Times, publisher of the Boston Globe and International Herald Tribune, said profits fell to $35 million, or 24 cents a share, from $111 million, or 76 cents a share, a year earlier.

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