For the first time in its history, the newspaper will run a 30-second commercial during Sunday night’s Oscars telecast titled “The Truth is Hard.”
Naturally, President Donald Trump—who said Saturday he will not attend the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner—didn’t like the idea, and he took to Twitter early Sunday morning to complain about it.
For first time the failing @nytimes will take an ad (a bad one) to help save its failing reputation. Try reporting accurately & fairly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2017
According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, Trump tweeted about the commercial eight minutes after it was featured on CNN.
The New York Times has done remarkably well since Trump was elected president. The newspaper added 276,000 digital subscriptions in the final quarter of 2016, and according to Poynter, it now boasts more than 3 million online subscribers. “There has been an uptick in people’s willingness to pay,” CEO Mark Thompson recently said.
On Friday, the Times was one of the news organizations that was not allowed into an informal press briefing in Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s office. According to the AP, this is the first Times TV ad to run since 2010.
At least one observer thinks Sunday night’s ad will probably be worth the money put into it.
IF the ad costs $2.5M, and a subscriber is worth $500 (they are)–NYTimes needs just 5,000 new subs to pay for it. Ad likely to work. https://t.co/ZN28eR8TGt
— Arnon Mishkin (@arnonmishkin) February 26, 2017