Life in the Slow Lane

January 5, 2009

Color me disappointed …

Filed under: Life,News — pauljlane @ 12:58 pm

… that the New York Times – the pinnacle of American print journalism – has been forced to sell front-page advertisements.

Sure, papers such as mine that are small have done so for some time. But the Times selling space on the front – once considered ground more sacred than Mecca, where only the NEWS that was fit to print was printed – is a sure sign that this industry is nearing death.

The reaction here in the newsroom is the same for everyone – “WOW!” followed by a sigh of disappointment, then the gravity of the situation setting in. If the Times has to sell front-page ads to survive, how long will it be until the newspaper as a whole is dead?

This is a sad day for anyone who still reads or appreciates newspapers, which offer the only true journalism out there, unlike the TV newscasts that rehash the headlines they read in yesterday’s paper or the radio shows that then recycle the TV “news.” Biased? Yes, but an appreciation for actual news-gathering is why I gave up a broadcasting to go into a then-uncertain print career to begin with.

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•••

For its part, here’s what CBS had to say on the matter:

“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.  “With a weekday readership of 2.8 million and a Sunday readership of 4.2 million, The New York Times is the largest seven-day newspaper in the United States.”

“It’s exciting that CBS is kicking off The New York Times’s inaugural front page ad,” said George Schweitzer, President, CBS Marketing Group.  “America’s most watched network will clearly have one of the most read ads — and we value this new means of prominently showcasing our valuable media properties.”

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