The Times Starts Selling Display Ads on Page 1 –

The New York Times has taken a new step in its attempts to increase revenue: sell ads on the front page.

In its latest concession to the worst revenue slide since the Depression, The New York Times has begun selling display advertising on its front page, a step that has become increasingly common across the newspaper industry.

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.

I’m glad to see that the NY Times is working toward staying profitable in creative ways. The fact that the ad will appear below the fold is important to me because it allows the paper to increase its ad revenue in such a way that (hopefully at least) is not distracting to the reader.

Of concern to me though is that if they are accepting ads like the CBS one that are two and a half inches high, what will happen to the front-page content? What I hope the Times will do is to simply shorten some columns but keep the same number of stories on the front page. If they begin to cut front page stories in order to fit the ad on the page then I’m worried.

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