Monday, October 02, 2006

Missing Roger

According to Crain's Chicago Business, loyal fans of Roger Ebert aren't the only ones who are mourning his absence. Indeed, it's entiely possible that bean-counters at the Chicago Sun-Times might miss Roger even more than his readers do:

"Mr. Ebert, who is recuperating from surgery for salivary-gland cancer, took a leave of absence at the end of June. Since then the number of visitors to the Sun-Times' RogerEbert.com has fallen 65%, to 378,000 in August from 1.1 million in June.

"That's a problem for the Chicago tabloid and its parent, Sun-Times Media Group Inc. After Mr. Ebert's last column, in June, the Sun-Times' overall visitors fell 25%, to 1.9 million in August.

"'For every newspaper, and more so the Sun-Times, a large percentage of their traffic comes from their personalities,' says Shawn Riegsecker, president of Centro LLC, an online ad buyer based in Chicago. 'The Sun-Times' (leading) personality happens to be Roger Ebert.'"

No kidding.

1 comment:

MovieGal said...

"...a large percentage of their traffic comes from their personalities."
If ad guys realize that, why don't more newspapers? Why do we see them eliminating local critic jobs in favor of pulling reviews off the wire services? Sure, it probably saves them money in the short term but they hurt themselves in the long term.
My local paper often runs five film reviews by five different people, none local, which means that readers never get the chance to get to know if they generally agree with particular critic or not, which, in turn, makes reading the reviews less valuable, which ultimately makes reading the paper less valuable.