Outsell Research analyzed unique visitors to 25 newspaper sites and found the worst performer on the list was MercuryNews.com, which lost 30 percent of visitors during a one-year period that ended last July, according to E&P. Gannett’s network of 100 sites fell 2 percent, the LA Times was down 3 percent and USA Today declined 9 percent. NYTimes.com dropped 12 percent during the period, though its top columnists were on the paid side of its site then.

“We see that many news Web sites actually lost ground year-over-year, welcoming fewer unique visitors,” wrote Outsell’s Ken Doctor, a former Knight Ridder Digital exec. Here’s Outsell’s press release describing its research. The actual report can be obtained for a fee.

SF Press Club News


  1. no wonder … these sites are merely a repackaging of the printed newspaper, with updates before deadline … if newspapers want to compete, they need to come up with new content and new approaches to their ONLINE BUSINESSES!!!

  2. Hmmmm. How long do you think it will be before MediaNews executives start blaming this on Craigslist and a sagging real estate market?

    MediaNews never puts any real money into expanding news coverage for its readers, and this is now showing in Web readership. One thing they’re really good at though: investing in new computer equipment that allows them to eliminate “redundancies” (and when I say “redundancies” I of course mean “jobs”).

    Take a look at the retooled SFGate home page, and then take a stroll on over to MercuryNews.com or ContraCostaTimes.com. Enough said.

  3. The Merc web is losing readers b/c it is slow as hell. It takes soooooo long to open a page or even navigate from pages to pages.

    I have written to the Merc about their site but apparently they did not care to fix it.

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