I don't mind the ads. The place is free for crying out loud!
The key, in my mind, is to make the front page more valuable with solid content - so that the bulk of the advertising money can be made there instead of in the threads. This is the basic model SA uses (heavy advertising up front, light advertising in the threads) and it seems to work very well.
There are lots of free forums and other online venues where the ad saturation reaches a point where people decide to no longer participate 'cause a ton of ads generally suck for the user experience. This isn't SA, and that site has a multitude of reasons why it doesn't attract even more users it already has access to (not really a discussion for this thread though).
*I'm fairly sure your obvious suck up attempts to new management thus far have been dually noted and accounted for, so relax Smacky, it's clear you cannot wait to conform to whatever changes you're handed - I have a few questions, that's all.. (although, you could
try leaving an apple on the Admins desk, that may also help make it clear you're more than ready to conform to anything you're handed)
*in good humor, no offense intended.