The big story over at Ad Age, and lots of other places, yesterday was the announcement that the Wall Street Journal, after nearly the entire 120 years of its existence, will begin selling ad space on their front cover. After giving it a little try run in their European and Asian editions late last year, they’re going full steam ahead with the flagship and right there, on the lower right-hand corner, you’ll soon be seeing stuff to invest in or expensive cars you can buy. It’s easy to read into this as just another possible blow to the fledgling medium of print, but only time will tell. Personally, with this at least, and to temporarily ignore the very depressing “remember us, we’re still relevant” campaigns now running for both newspaper and magazine advertising, we’re of the opinion that it’s something that’s come up ever year at the Journal, with someone on their board saying, “You know, we talked about this last year, and I’m sure we made a good decision not to do it, but if we put just one little ad on the cover, we’d be pulling in a fortune” and then finally it just happened. But, like the markets they cover, it’s all just speculation. Here’s some:
The New York Times said yesterday, for example, that it will shrink the size of the paper it is printed on starting in 2008, a move that the Journal previously announced it will make. The Journal, The Times and other papers have also been hunting new revenue with new ad units, including ads on the front of Journal sections and watermark ads beneath Saturday’s stock listings in The Times.