Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Cover Ads Raise Profits, Hackles

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Cover Ads Raise Profits, Hackles

Article excerpt

Gannett the biggest fish in bottom (of page) feeding frenzy

With constant pressure to grow revenue, more ad directors are looking at their newspapers' front pages and seeing dollar signs.

Since USA Today began running one-inch strip ads across the bottom of Page One a year ago, a number of newspapers have headed in that direction, often testing the waters

with section-front ads.

Many are owned by USA Today parent Gannett Co. Inc., which gives its 98 community papers the option of running front-page ads.

At Gannett's Palm Springs, Calif., Desert Sun, section-front ads launched Oct. 19 have been well-received, Advertising Director Dar Brown said. The paper plans to take them to Page One in January. "It's long been asked for by advertisers," she said. "I think you'll see a lot of newspapers take it on."

Section-front ads, possible precursors to front-page ads, began this summer at Belo's The Dallas Morning News. "Right now, we're looking at imaginative ways to grow our revenues and still exist within the framework of our values and principles," said President and General Manager Robert W. Mong Jr., acknowledging journalists' historical opposition to front-page ads. …

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