Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Golden Gate? 'SF Chron' Defends First Front-Page Ad

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Golden Gate? 'SF Chron' Defends First Front-Page Ad

Article excerpt

Adding to a quickly advancing trend, the San Francisco Chronicle published its first front-page ad today. Unlike many other cases, it is not a narrow strip along the bottom but a chunky box in the lower right corner, six inches across and five inches deep. The advertiser is Pacific Gas & Electric.

Editor Phil Bronstein defended the decision to place an ad on Page One, saying it would not affect news coverage and is just part of the expanding effort to draw revenue. "These are the times we live in," he said. "We had discussions about it. It is a hard case to make that you shouldn't do this as a concept when you are in as much of a financial hole as we are. My feeling is that if it doesn't change what you do, you ought to be judged on the kind of journalism you do." The editor said the paper had received "a couple of calls" today about the change, but nothing significant so far. He had no specifics on what the callers had said. Bronstein cited other newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, that have made similar decisions. "No one's complaining at the Journal for all of the time they have had front page ads. …

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