WSJ will take front page ads

The Wall Street Journal is to accept ads on its front page for the first time in recent years, and the New York Times is changing size, as US newspapers respond to tough market conditions.

The WSJ ads, which can be in colour, will probably be box-shaped and run in the bottom right-hand corner of the front page.

The move is seen as yet one more sign of the mounting financial pressures that are forcing newspapers to find new ways of raising revenue.

It is predicted that giving space on its front page to advertisers — an area long regarded as sacrosanct — could bring in several million dollars of extra income over a year.

The New York Times is to trim its pages in width by an inch and a half. It will mean a saving of around 5 per cent in newsprint costs.

With a simultaneous closing of one of its major printing plants in New Jersey, the savings could amount to around $42 million a year.

It will also mean there will be 5 per cent less space in the paper for news and features.

The New York Times quoted its editor, Bill Keller, as saying: "It's a number I think we can live with quite comfortably. It's painful to watch an industry retrench. But this is much less painful that cutting staff or closing foreign bureaux."

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