- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 15, 2003

The Washington Times will mark its 21st anniversary tomorrow with the introduction of a revamped Web site with several new features for readers and enhanced opportunities for advertisers.

The site, which includes most of the articles from the newspaper and the latest bulletins from the Associated Press and United Press International wire services, will be better organized and easier to navigate.

Readers will be able to click on a navigation bar on the left side of the page to access stories from each of the newspaper’s major sections. Another new feature is an activity guide with an archive of reviews of movies, concerts, art galleries, restaurants, books and other forms of recreation.

Banner advertisements will run across the top of the page, as well as “skyscraper” ads that run vertically on the right side. Advertisers can purchase space in a new advertising section called Marketplace, which will have areas devoted to home improvement, electronics, health care and other topics.

The newspaper introduced the site, www.washingtontimes.com, in 1996. It was last revised in 1999.

“We’re gratified by the success of our site,” said Wesley Pruden, editor of The Times, “and the success reflects the confidence that compels readers to turn to The Washington Times for news they can’t get anywhere else. Our goal is to get the news first, and to get it right, and to keep opinion and commentary clearly labeled as opinion. Together with the new bells and whistles, the continuing emphasis on the news makes the new and improved web site, like the newspaper, a compelling venue for advertising. Readers trust the advertising when they trust the reporting of the news.”

The Times’ web site was the 10th-most visited newspaper site on the Internet in January, with more than 1.7 million visitors, according to a recent analysis of Nielsen/NetRatings data by industry trade magazine Editor & Publisher. The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today had the three most-visited newspaper Web sites in January, the magazine reported. Others in the top 20 include the Houston Chronicle (No. 11), the Chicago Tribune (No. 14) and the Seattle Times (No. 18).

The Web site generates roughly $250,000 a year in revenue, Richard Amberg, vice president and general manager of The Times, said. Online advertising revenue is expected to quadruple after the revamped site is introduced.

On average, more than 3 million readers visit the web site of The Washington Times each month, said Travis McPheron, the newspaper’s manager of Internet advertising. About 20 million pages are downloaded each month, he said.

The newspaper averaged about 560,000 page-views a month in 1997, when it began tracking its Web site traffic, said Ted Agres, deputy managing editor who monitors the editorial content of the site.

The Times, which has a daily circulation of 102,000, published its first edition May 17, 1982.

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