President Donald Trump regularly describes The New York Times as “failing” on Twitter. It’s the kind of failure most businesses would kill for. Shares in the publisher of the “Gray Lady”, as the newspaper is nicknamed, have quadrupled over the past four years, recording a succession of new highs this summer. Without one another, the liberal media and populist president would inspire less loyalty in their target constituencies. For the Times, a second Trump term would be a political disaster — but a boost to business.

The Trump Show has helped the news industry arrest a decade-long structural decline. Ratings at cable TV networks are up. So are subscriber numbers at national newspapers, even as local newspapers and digital start-ups struggle. The New York Times reported 6.5-million subscribers — most of them digital — in its most recent quarterly earnings. That is 4.1-million more than four years ago. The growth in paid subscriptions during the second quarter helped offset a 44...

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