‘Sun-Times’ Site Sees Sharp Drop in Traffic With Ebert on Leave

By: E&P Staff

The Chicago Sun-Times redesigned its Web site last week, but it will likely continue to see slower traffic while the paper’s syndicated film critic Roger Ebert is out of commission.

Ebert took a leave in June to recovering from surgery for salivary-gland cancer, and according to Crain’s Chicago Business the site’s overall traffic was down 25% by August. RogerEbert.com, which is hosted by the Sun-Times, lost 65% of its visitors between June and August, falling from 1.1 million to 378,000.

“For every newspaper, and more so the Sun-Times, a large percentage of their traffic comes from their personalities,” Shawn Riegsecker, president of Centro LLC, an online ad buyer based in Chicago is quoted as saying in the Crain’s article. “The Sun-Times’ (leading) personality happens to be Roger Ebert.”

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