New York Times Sells Front Page Ads

Posted on January 5, 2009

The recession is driving publishers to make significant changes. A big change was announced today at the New York Times. They have started selling ads on their front page. They reported on themselves in an article here. They say CBS purchased the first front page ad.

The first such ad, appearing Monday in color, was bought by CBS. The ad, two-and-a-half inches high, lies horizontally across the bottom of the front page, below the news articles and a brief summary of some articles in the paper. In a statement, the paper said such ads would be placed "below the fold" - that is, on the lower half of the page.

In the past, The Times has printed an occasional front-page classified ad - two or three lines of text at the bottom of the page. And a few years ago it began selling display ads - which are much larger and can combine images and text - on the front pages of sections inside the paper.

But The Times did not sell displays on the first page of the first section, a move regarded by traditionalists as a commercial incursion into the most important news space in the paper.

Most major American papers sell front-page display ads, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The Los Angeles Times, but some others, including TheWashington Post, do not.

It's a significant move considering the Times front page had been strictly devoted to containing editorial content only but probably a very necessary move for a newspaper in need of revenues. The ad was on the lower-half of the paper's front page. You can read more articles on the Times decision here, here and here.

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