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Posted on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 4:34 p.m. and combine for top website nationwide in local market reach

By Tony Dearing and have jointly claimed the No. 1 ranking in the country for local audience reach by a news website, according to a national survey. The ranking is based on the 2011 Media Audit survey by Houston-based International Demographics Inc., according to a story on

Laurel Champion, executive vice president of, noted this is the third consecutive year that and MLive have jointly captured the top position nationally.

"I’m extremely proud of the entire team for helping us to maintain this top position,'' Champion said. "And we certainly couldn’t have gotten here without the feedback and input from this remarkable community.”

According to Media Audit, and currently combine to reach 55 percent of adults in Washtenew County over a 30-day period. MLive also holds the eighth spot nationally for its reach of 44 percent of adults in the Grand Rapids market. and are part of the MLive Media Group, along with The Grand Rapids Press, Muskegon Chronicle, Jackson Citizen Patriot, The Flint Journal, The Bay City Times, The Saginaw News, Kalamazoo Gazette and Advance Weeklies.

To read the article on, click here.


Tony Dearing

Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 10:33 p.m.

Sorry to be late in joining the discussion. I've been trying to find time all day to reply, and finally have a moment to respond. @DBH, we recognize that proof-reading and editing is not always up to the standards our readers expect, and we take that issue seriously. We have taken a number of steps to bring more resources to copy-editing, though one of the challenges (across the industry) is that newsrooms are smaller, and copy-editing staff is one area that has suffered. We continue to redouble our efforts in that area. Your point regarding "at about'' is well-taken, and I will take encourage the staff to avoid that, and encourage editors to watch for it and edit it out. I have not forgotten your concern about links in comments having to be cut-and-pasted because they are not hot links. In our previous system, we created that hot-link capability through a template overlay. But that approach also caused site performance issues for us in other areas. When we launched the latest version of the system, one of our goals was to use the basic platform as much as possible. We could create a template overlay that would restore the hot links in comments, but that would move us back in the direction of re-introducing other problems we were trying to solve. We're assessing whether we should go down that road again. @Dan, we have developed this site very rapidly over a relatively short period of time, and while we have made great progress in many areas, we understand that we have neglected a mobile solution and that there is a great need for one. It's something we're discussing right now, to determine how quickly we can work it into our development schedule. We are eager to address that sooner rather than later. @David, thanks for your kind comments. We are seriously considering an approach that would at least experiment with requiring the use of real names when people comment in some areas of the site. I hope to be able to say more about that soon.


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 12:41 a.m.

Thanks, Tony, for your reply to the above concerns. Regarding the spelling and grammatical errors, in my opinion the need for a lot of editing could be avoided if the reporters would simply proofread their copy [is that still a valid term for an Internet publication?] before submitting it for publication. Reading text out loud often has helped me catch errors I might have otherwise overlooked. As the saying goes, a job worth doing is worth doing well. If it's not done well, it diminishes the luster of this endeavor. If the reporters are doing their job conscientiously, the need for editing should be minimal. Again, thanks for the reply and congrats again.

David Cahill

Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

This is quite an accomplishment! Well done! I'm pleased with the evolution of The quality of reporting in my main area of interest (politics - no surprise there) is high. One suggestion: Require the use of real names in comments. If Facebook can require real names, so can you!


Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 6:53 a.m.

If only an alternative.


Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 12:27 a.m.

The bar must be pretty low!

Dan Kotman

Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 11:13 p.m.

Congrats on the accomplishment. How about creating a mobile site to bring even more traffic?


Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 11:09 p.m.

Congratulations! Your business model is proving to be successful, clearly. You appear to be adapting relatively well to feedback, as most revisions in the product appear to be (at least to me) improvements in the experience that is May I make three requests, one general and two specific? Generally, your producers/copy editors (I count 3 among your staff) need to do a better job at editing content before it is published. I could go into details of what I have seen as deficiencies of editing, but I don't think it is necessary since reader feedback is prolific and unlikely to have been ignored by (at least, I hope not). Specifically, (1) you removed the functionality of active links posted by commenters (those in which the URLs are written out) and, despite your promise to look into it (see your comment at 10:38 AM on 3/20/12 in the Comment Moderation Guidelines), they remain inactive links. Having to copy and paste should not be necessary; they had been active links before the revisions. (2) While this is admittedly a grammatical peccadillo, it is one that continually bugs me and diminishes the quality of the reporting on That is the use of "at about" to describe the time an event occurs. For example, "They left the home at about 9 p.m." or "....firefighters were dispatched to the home at about 11:11 p.m. Friday..." If the time something occurs is known with certainty, the phrase should be "at 11:11 p.m." (and if one is going to use such a specific time as "11:11," I cannot think of why the time should be so specified unless it was known with certainty to have been 11:11). If the precise time is not known, but the approximate time is known, then the phrase should be "about 9 p.m." The preposition preceding a temporal event should be either "at" or "about" (or some similar substitute), depending on the circumstances, but not both. Thanks for co


Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.

Thanks for considering my comments.


Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

I enjoy the new format. I normally shun my neighbors and am a recluse but this new format lets us shut-ins interact with other shut-ins.


Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

What an accomplishment. Could this be the result of killing the local newspaper? The quality of the reporting, writing and editing of the low-cost online alternatives are terrible. I've never known a state where the quality of the local and statewide press is so uniformly dismal.