Cash-strapped New York Times opens front page to ads

The cash-strapped New York Times on Monday for the first time opened its editorial holy of holies, the front page, to advertising.

The colour banner ad across the bottom of the page was for CBS television and carried the slogan “Front Page News.”

Its appearance broke a taboo in arguably the world’s most famous newspaper, traditionally dubbed “the Grey Lady” for what many see as a staid but serious approach to news reporting.

“This high-impact placement represents an exciting new opportunity for our advertisers to reach our educated, affluent and influential readers across the country,” said Denise Warren, senior vice-president and chief advertising officer for The New York Times Media Group.

Warren did not reveal how much the ad space was being sold for.

Like newspapers across the country, the Times faces a potentially catastrophic shift of readers and advertisers to online sites.

The daily, which boasts a 2,8-million weekday circulation and 4,2-million at weekends, is scrambling to raise cash before a $400-million credit facility expires in May.

The New York Times company has announced plans to raise up to $225-million dollars by borrowing against its Manhattan skyscraper headquarters and is also reported to be looking to sell its stake in the Boston Red Sox baseball club.

The rival Tribune company, owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun, filed for bankruptcy in December.—AFP

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