The New York Times is interested, as is the larger newspaper industry, in the various ideas being brought to bare in Philadelphia, care of high profile ad man turned newspaper publisher, Brian P. Tierney.
Starting next week, The Philadelphia Inquirer will run a new column called PhillyInc., written by Inquirer reporters and editors, on the first page of its business section.
What is unusual is that the column will be sponsored by a local advertiser, Citizens Bank. It will carry the bank’s logo and be outlined in the bank’s distinctive green ink. The bank will also run ads across the bottom of the page and in an upper corner.
The move rankles many in the newsroom because it looks as if the newspaper’s editorial content has been co-opted.
But Mr. Tierney said that the column was just the kind of high-visibility, creative “brand-building” opportunity that advertisers crave.
Tierney sold his agency Tierney Communications to True North in 1998. Today he is chief executive of Philadelphia Media Holdings L.L.C., and the publisher of the The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News.