July Traffic Slows at Newspaper Web Sites

By: Jennifer Saba Online traffic is slowing this summer, according to an analysis by Wachovia Equity Research analyst John Janedis.

The research firm observed monthly unique trends using July comScore data for newspapers in its coverage universe.

The New York Times Co., which also includes About.com, faired the best with 12% growth in uniques year-over-year. Janedis notes the strength is coming mostly from About.com, where uniques were up 13.2% year-over-year. Monthly unique traffic in July at the company's flagship, NYT.com, was down 6.9% year-over-year.

The Wall Street Journal experienced growth in July with WSJ.com. Year-over-year, uniques were up 14.6%. However, Dow Jones overall was down 8.9% with weakness at Ottaway newspapers and MarketWatch, each down about 21%.

Traffic at USA Today fell in July as well. For the site, uniques declined 3% year-over-year. In June, uniques dropped 12.7% year-over-year.

Janedis notes that July is the first comparable month for McClatchy since the acquisition of Knight Ridder. Trends are weak, he wrote, with uniques for the company down 15.7%.

In the online help-wanted category, HotJobs was up 22%, CareerBuilder increased 5.9%, and Monster grew 1.5% for July, compared to the same period a year ago. "The strength at Yahoo," wrote Janedis "is largely due to its partnership with the newspapers, in our view."


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