Update: Upset in Top 10 New Web Sites as Tribune Newspapers Leapfrog ‘N.Y. Times’

By: Jennifer Saba

The Fox News Digital Network and Tribune Newspapers pulled ahead of NYTimes.com in December, taking the top fifth and sixth spots respectively as the most visited current events Web sites. NYTimes.com was No. 5 in November.

The data is provided by Nielsen Online, which ranks the top news Web sites by unique users.

It should be noted that Tribune Newspapers includes all of the company’s newspaper Web sites, whereas the NYTimes.com is just one site. However, in months past, the NYTimes.com topped Tribune Newspapers as a group.

While Nielsen did not provide the top 30 newspaper Web sites in December, here is how the NYTimes.com and Boston.com — the Web site of the Boston Globe — did in November. Added together the two sites reported 20.9 million uniques. During the same month, Tribune Newspapers had 16.5 million visitors.

During the month of December, unique visitors at the NYTimes fell 18.4% to 14.8 million in December compared to the same month a year ago. MSNBC Digital Network also experienced a drop, down 20% to 32.3 million uniques. The comparables are tough however given the news cycle coming off a presidential election and meltdown in the economy in December 2008.

Also, Nielsen greatly expanded its panels in June 2009, which could also affect year-over-year trends.

Below are the top 10 current events & global news destinations ranked by December uniques with year-over-year comparisons.

Yahoo! News — 39,917,000 — 0.0%
CNN Digital Network — 36,343,000 — (-2.3%)
MSNBC Digital Network — 32,236,000 — (-20.1%)
AOL News — 24,811,000 — 30.8%
Fox News Digital Network — 16,573,000 — 20.3%
Tribune Newspapers — 15,844,000 — (-5.3%)
NYTimes.com — 14,849,000 — (-18.4%)
Google News — 13,541,000 — 26.1%
ABCNEWS Digital Network — 12,084,000 — 5.8%
Gannett Newspapers and Newspaper Division — 11,842,000 — 3.2%

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