Closer inspection of the publication's e-paper does indeed prove this to be the case. Like decisions by publishers often raise eyebrows, given the sacred nature of the front page, a space traditionally reserved for 'hard news' and top stories.
Whilst Yahoo's new $100m global 'Yahoo. It's Y!ou' marketing campaign could be considered by some to be such news, the running of the actual advertisement nonetheless raises many questions.
Should publications maintain the editorial integrity of the front page? And would a front page ad even be considered by a publication such as the New York Times?
The answer, quite bluntly, is yes. In fact it already has been, though not quite on the same scale.
Earlier this year the NYT announced it would sell front page space for advertising in a push for revenue during tough times. On January 5th, a horizontal 2 and a half inch ad purchased by CBS was printed in the bottom right corner of the front page.
In May, the NYT again had lips fluttering, this time with a strange ad in its digital copy. The advertisement was a digital version of NYT's front page, with a date from the year 2040 and a somewhat unusual headline, "President converses with dolphin, develops new environmental plan." When one clicked on the page, they were transferred to the homepage of Intel.
Even before the NYT's decision, many American papers, such as The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and USA Today, did sell front-page ad space. What is interesting, however, is to note how as publications are getting more inventive in their attempts to generate revenue, they are willing to part with more and more front-page editorial space.
It is hard to imagine a day when the front page of the New York Times (or any other established news brand) is nothing more than a giant advertisement - but all the steps taken to date only seem to forecast the selling of more prominent space to advertisers in an attempt to lure them back to print publications, and what after all is more prominent than the front-page?