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One square for an ear and a leaderboard

Careful readers will notice a modest change in our design today, prompted by a realignment of our banner advertising offerings.

MinnPost is committed to offering our readers a site that balances our need for advertising revenue with the reader’s desire for an experience that emphasizes the content, not the ads. That’s why we don’t allow ads that block your view or ads that have video not initiated by the reader.

But we do have an expense budget of $1.2 million this year, with more than 75% of it spent on the journalism, and we’re counting on raising about a quarter of the $1.2 million from advertising and sponsorship. That means we have to capture as much advertising and sponsorship revenue as we can consistent with our standards of non-intrusiveness.

Several of our banner ad positions have been selling very well, but two have not — the little “ear” in the upper-right hand corner and the horizontal “leaderboard” across the bottom of every page.

So today, we’ve dropped those two, and added one new premium position, a square ad below the masthead in the right-hand column. If you’re interested in purchasing advertising on MinnPost.com, please contact Sally Waterman, our advertising director, at swaterman [at] minnpost [dot] com.

(By the way, if you’re reading MinnPost from outside Minnesota, you don’t see our local banner ads. Instead, you see Google text ads running in those same positions.)

Since we were dropping the “ear,” we also made a modest change in the masthead design, moving the search toolbar there and adding a prominent button reminding readers that we’re member-supported and we need your donations. We now have more than 1,450 members, but I still run into people around town who say they didn’t realize we were a member-supported nonprofit, so I hope this helps communicate that point.

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