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Many sources drive traffic to news sites, according to report

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New York—As print news organizations embrace the Internet, new online research suggests a competitive landscape where Web site visits, customer acquisition and churn are heavily dependent on traffic from other news and content sites, search engines and e-mail.

The new study, conducted by competitive intelligence service Hitwise, showed that 26.2% of all visits to Web sites in its "news and media-print" category originated from another news site in the four weeks ended May 21.

Additionally, the study showed that 18.8% of visits to print-affiliated news sites came directly from search engines and directories, 9.0% from entertainment sites, and 7.2% from Web e-mail services.

While print news sites receive significant traffic from other news sites, they also lose more visitors (25.8%) to them versus any other site category.

The study also found that the Internet "breaks down geographic legacies." For example, it showed that New York Times Co.’s www.nytimes.com received 72.2% of its U.S. traffic from visitors outside New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

—Sean Callahan

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