I saw an interesting ad last night while watching CNN. It was an ad for CNN boasting about how "CNN is #1 Online" with the most unique visitors, page views and time spent online versus any other TV News Network. It was amazing to see them promote how they lead their category online when it was just a few years ago that most TV networks didn't even have an online marketing strategy altogether. Using terms like 'unique visitors', 'page views' and 'time spent online' even speaks to how they realize the importance and awareness of these metrics and communicating their position to the public in such terms is pretty cool to see. No doubt – the online world has arrived and traditional media who continue to embrace it in some way, shape or form will benefit seeing how TV viewership to set programs and set times of day will only decline as younger generations become the more prominent viewing audience. CNN is doing a really good job with their website. They have made it highly interactive with blogs, pod-casts, online videos and unique content that the TV broadcast doesn't allow for over the course of a given day of programming.
On the other side, some traditional media like Newspapers continue to struggle. They are thinner than ever, paid subscription and circulation is down and advertising support continues to be on the decline. It's only a matter of time before some of the best know papers like the New York Times go under. It's amazing to imagine this, but it's simply the reality and perhaps if Newspapers embraced the Web in the same way and made it highly interactive and leveraged their traditional media to support their websites and vice-versa, they would be in a better position today. Kudos to CNN, whether you like the network or not – you have to appreciate that they are getting it right and going where the viewer is going, not dictating. That is how you remain the Authority. That is how you stay #1.