The New York Times’ Obsession With Itself

From a Jack Shafer Fourth Estate column on headlined “The New York Times’ Obsession with Itself”:

If Page A1 of the New York Times is the most valuable two square feet of real estate in newspaper history, what then is the paper’s next page, A2?

Even print subscribers who don’t read the paper in its entirety reliably flip to A2 before abandoning it for their commute or web browsing. A2’s value, and that of its sister page, A3, was reflected in the premium that advertisers paid for placement in those spaces two decades ago, as luxury retailers like Cartier, Tourneau, Burberry, Tiffany, Mikimoto, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bulgari, Cole Haan and other high-end shops would line up to park their ads in that privileged space.