Taking up a challenge laid down by Anonymous@9:33 a.m., I bought a copy of the nation's top-selling print newspaper this morning, here in San Francisco. Next, I counted pages and advertisements. I did not include what appeared to be house ads. I did, however, count even the smallest, classified-like display ads. I do not know whether today's edition is representative of a typical paper. Here's what I found:
A section, 10 pages, seven ads: Subway, Honda, Odwalla, Mercedes-Benz, Cornell University, Zurich SEC Settlement, Norwegian cruises.
Money, six pages, eight ads: Sprint, Frontgate, Franchising Today Marketplace (five small ads), OPC Factor energy supplement.
Sports, 10 pages, four ads: ESPN, Hooters, Briggs & Stratton, Verizon/NFL.
Life, six pages, 16 ads: Marketplace Today (16 small ads, such as for order-by-mail Viagra).
Related: USAT's current advertising rates
Does anyone have access to the April 21, 2009, paper? I'd like to see a similar page and ad count. Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.