'Time' Marches On to New Web Strategy

Site Makeover Aims to Raise Title's Online News Status

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Change came again this morning for Time magazine, this time with a redesigned website aimed at seizing a better place in the digital-news hierarchy. There's a cleaner layout, a navigation bar at the top instead of the left margin, bigger ad units higher on the page and fewer ads on each page.
Time's effort to regain traction in the online breaking news space includes a website redesign.
Time's effort to regain traction in the online breaking news space includes a website redesign.

Breaking news
But the architects of the makeover said their biggest hope is to provide enough breaking news to give people a reason to visit Time.com instead of Google News, Drudge, Digg or any other news aggregator out there. Last November, after all, Google News drew 10.1 million unique visitors, while Time.com had just 3.9 million, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Even Newsweek, which trails Time in paid print circulation, got more online visitors than its rival. Newsweek.com is part of MSNBC.com.

"You'll see, with the design, the headline stack that's constantly updated," said Josh Tyrangiel, editor of Time.com since last September. "That's the price of doing business. We'll also have the feel of a daily news magazine, with a top-left rotating box with nice big pictures. It would be really dull if all we had above the fold were the latest breaking news and incredibly dull news analysis."

New strategy
John Cantarella, who joined Time.com as general manager last July from a post at NYTimes.com, said the site's strategy now echoes the thought behind the magazine's founding. "We're not trying to boil the ocean," Mr. Cantarella said. "We're not necessarily all the news. We're the most important news."

Advertisers appearing on the site today include Microsoft, Bose, Chrysler, Research In Motion (BlackBerry) and Hitachi.

The new start for Time.com, which spent much of 2006 building out features such as blogs and podcasts, is only part of a big overhaul at Time magazine, the marquee brand for Time Inc., the country's biggest magazine publisher. Last June, Richard Stengel took over as managing editor; last November, the magazine said it would cut its guaranteed paid circulation by nearly 20%; and Jan. 5 saw the first delivery of Time on its new on-sale day, Fridays.
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