NYT Starts Selling Ads on Front Page , Reports on it Themselves

January 6th, 2009 1:00 AM

In a story published by the New York Times about the New York Times it was revealed that they will start accepting display ads on their front page (h/t Hot Air). The NYT broke the news in an odd third person kind of way:

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.

But the Times is quick to point out that they're not the only ones desperate for cash and selling front page ads:

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 The Washington Post, do not.

Yet, even they seem less than confident that this move is will be successful:

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.

And, by their own admission, they have good reason to worry. This is the latest sign that they are, and ought to be, scrambling to stop the hemorrhaging. Here is how the story describes the current state of the Times, and it's not pretty:

The New York Times Company, like newspaper publishers around the country, has taken several steps to cut costs and increase revenue in the last two years, including reducing staff through buyouts and layoffs, cutting the physical size of its pages, selling or closing subsidiaries and raising subscription prices.

The company recently reported that in November, revenue from continuing operations fell 13.9 percent from November 2007; from January through November, it was down 7.6 percent. Advertising revenue at The New York Times Media Group [...] declined 21.2 percent in November from the same month in 2007.

I guess the only question left is when will the Times get their bailout?