By paulgillin | January 6, 2009 - 8:37 am - Posted in Facebook

We thought we’d never see this one: The New York Times has started selling advertising on its front page.  Yesterday’s issue carried a 2 1/2-inch strip ad at the bottom of page one from another distressed media company: CBS. It was the first time in the newspaper’s 157-year history that an ad has appeared on the front page.

The Times rolled out the program quietly, making no advance announcements and covering the news matter-of-factly in its business section. MediaPost notes that the Times’ concession illustrates just how bad the business is. “Although many big newspapers have offered advertisers front-page spots, The New York Times long prided itself on presenting readers with nothing but news–in keeping with the paper’s reputation for substance and gravitas,” it said.

The Times‘s own account notes that most newspapers offer some front-page ad space, but the Times and the Washington Post have been long-time holdouts. Today’s edition doesn’t have a front-page ad.




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