Judging by the tone of this morning’s announcement that the New York Times would, for the first time ever(!), allow a display ad on its front page you might be mistaken for concluding that journalism standards as we know them have finally come tumbling to an ignominious end. Or not. As we discussed on this morning’s Menu, does it matter? Should we care?
For those of us who get our Times almost exclusively online advertisements that interrupt headlines or take over half the home page are nothing new at all. The fact that this is the first display ad on the very bottom of the printed edition is not so much not a big deal, than an idea that probably should have been pursued a while ago — perhaps before the dividend had to be cut, the building had to be mortgaged, and/or the stake Boston Red Sox sold. Also, before, say, advertising revenue plummeted to such an extent that the ad may not be worth all that much at all.
Per the article:
The Times would not disclose the rates it charges for ads on the front page. Ordinarily, such space would be coveted by advertisers for its prominence, but it remains to be seen how well it will sell in the current climate, in which ad spending is plummeting.
Ah the painful, costly irony of misplaced ideals and missed opportunities.