The Journal is running an advertiser's cover wrap on Thursday for the first time in its history, covering one-third of the front page and all of the back with an ad for Dell. Cover wraps are common among New York City's Post and Daily News tabloids; just Tuesday, the Daily News distributed copies free to commuters wrapped in ads for the new "Tomb Raider" video game. But The Journal has traditionally declined to obscure its front page with overlaid ads.
Michael Rooney, chief revenue officer at Journal parent Dow Jones, said the move was part of an ongoing series of recent changes, and not just since Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. bought the company. "We launched the Weekend Edition, we launched Personal Journal," he said. "There's lots that has happened over the last five years."
Dell and its agency Enfatico are pulling out of some long-term magazine buys, but remain heavy users of print advertising.
The Times Online, meanwhile, is finally activating Times Extra, an alternate view of the home page that offers links to related coverage from other news sources and blogs. Using the home page, some of the most valuable real estate on the internet, to link to competitors such as Fox News, The Wall Street Journal Online and the BBC will mark a big departure for the news brand that many consider the newspaper of record.
That's a big part of the point, of course, as Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and other Times executives told Ad Age over the summer. The broader idea is to weave the Times more tightly into the internet by making its content friendlier to application developers, building community and offering links even beyond its border.