Exclusive: Only 11 Top Newspaper Web Sites Report Increase in Time Spent

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By: Jennifer Saba

A little more than one third of the top 30 newspaper Web sites reported an increase in the time spent per person in March, according to new data from Nielsen Online.

Nielsen (owned by the same parent company as E&P) tracks the time per person as an average over the course of the month.

Some big gainers: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal Online, Village Voice Media, the Houston Chronicle, and Politico.

The average time spent per person for Politico soared about 200% in March, up an average of 15 minutes from 5 minutes the same month a year ago. Village Voice Media doubled its average to almost 7 minutes in March 2008 from about 4 minutes in March 2007. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer jumped more than 80% to 11 minutes from 6 minutes in March 2007.

Web sites that experienced drops included The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 28 minutes in March 2007 to about 11 minutes in March 2008; Philly.com down from an average of 21 minutes in March 2007 to about 7 minutes in March 2008. In the case of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, monthly unique traffic was up 28% in March year-over-year.

Below is the average time spent per person for the month of March ranked by March 2008 uniques. This is a custom list from Nielsen Online and can fluctuate based on several factors including news cycles. For February 2008 data on time spent per person go here.

Brand or Channel — Mar. ’08 Time per Person (hh:mm:ss) — Mar. ’07 Time per Person March 07 (hh:mm:ss)

NYTimes.com — 0:37:14 — 0:33:48
USATODAY.com — 0:11:26 — 0:17:50
washingtonpost.com — 0:16:15 — 0:18:01
Wall Street Journal Online — 0:14:49 — 0:11:18
LA Times — 0:07:38 — 0:10:35

New York Post — 0:08:49 — 0:09:27
Boston.com — 0:11:40 — 0:16:23
Chicago Tribune — 0:07:16 — 0:11:06
SFGate.com/San Francisco Chronicle — 0:10:13 — 0:14:41
Daily News Online Edition — 0:08:36 — 0:05:02

Newsday — 0:03:53 — 0:06:08
Village Voice Media — 0:06:53 — 0:03:54
DallasNews.com – The Dallas Morning News — 0:04:51 — 0:06:55
The Houston Chronicle — 0:28:41 — 0:19:48
International Herald Tribune — 0:02:47 — 0:02:14

Atlanta Journal-Constitution — 0:11:23 — 0:28:45
Chicago Sun-Times — 0:11:04 — 0:08:01
The Politico — 0:15:11 — 0:05:52
Azcentral.com — 0:13:23 — 0:12:42
Seattle Post-Intelligencer — 0:11:18 — 0:06:07

tampabay.com — 0:06:19 — 0:07:14
Star Tribune — 0:33:02 — 0:25:52
MercuryNews.com — 0:05:06 — 0:07:17
Orlando Sentinel — 0:04:19 — 0:06:18
Philly.com — 0:06:48 — 0:21:40

Sun-Sentinel — 0:08:17 — 0:11:12
Detroit Free Press — 0:13:23 — 0:18:07
Cleveland.com — 0:10:36 — 0:13:32
MiamiHerald.com — 0:03:10 — 0:08:05
The San Diego Union-Tribune — 0:05:11 — 0:05:22

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