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5 March 2016

With the introduction today of a banner ad program on our headline programs, we're added a subscriber benefit: the option to turn them off.

We've always appreciated the difference between being a publisher and being an editor. They aren't just two different hats. They're two different worlds.

The publisher's job is to run the business. The editor's job is to put out the publication. While the publisher courts advertisers and subscribers, the editor caters to readers.

You might think that would engender an inevitable conflict. But, as we said, they inhabit two different worlds and consequently don't cross paths. At least in the best publications.

They certainly don't cross paths here.

That's inevitably kept us from aggressively our business interests as we work on our stories and reviews. We've asked you for subscriptions, donations and purchases through our affiliated links because those revenue avenues do not conflict with our editorial function.

Happily we seem to have found another avenue that doesn't impinge on our editorial efforts. It's an ad program that's a bit different from the click-farm type we've studiously avoided. It simply pays for impressions and otherwise leaves us all alone.

We'll be running banner ads on our headline pages to see how it goes. In our tests over the past week, they've looked good without being overly intrusive. We have no control over who appears in the space, but we'll monitor that. They're our pixels, after all.

Before we actually started testing the program, we wrote some code to block the ads from appearing. We believe that those of you who have supported us with a subscription should have the option to block the ads if you so wish.

If you've visited the Benefits page for subscribers, you may have noticed the link to our Ad Blocker. One click enables it for the whole site using a cookie that does not track you in any way.

We're including the Ad Blocker as a new Basic benefit. Every subscriber can enjoy the site ad free, as they have since we started in 2012.

Whether you subscribe or not, you've always been welcomed here. And now more so than ever.

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