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Posted on Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

Top 11: Most-read stories on in 2011

By Paula Gardner

As 2011 draws to a close, we've compiled a list of the most-read stories on during the year.

The list is based solely on page view totals of the more than 12,000 news, sports and business articles we published this year, as recorded in our third-party tracking system.

Many of the stories reflect the University of Michigan football team's coaching transition. Other major news events are on the list, as is one crime update brief (we were surprised, too).

Not on the list — but still in the top 50 — is the news that police were considering a serial rapist scenario in downtown Ann Arbor. Those crimes remain unsolved. Of city government coverage, a story on city council starting changes to the pedestrian safety ordinance was tops in page views.

Also high on the list but not cracking the Top 11 were three animal-related stories: the black bear sighting near Dexter, the Gallinipper mosquito outbreak and the felony charge authorized for the man who ran over a group of ducklings.

Here are the most-read stories:

1. Michigan football team responds to MSU QB Kirk Cousins' criticism of Wolverines' BCS bid (Dec. 5)


Melanie Maxwell |

2. Borders plans to liquidate, ending 40-year-old bookstore chain (July 18)

3. The top 5 candidates to be the next Michigan football coach (Jan. 6)

4. Michigan losing recruiting lead over Ohio State after torrid run by Urban Meyer (Dec. 20)

5. EMU Police Chief Greg O'Dell mourned after his death at age 54 (Dec. 23)

6. Billboard mocking Ohio State's Jim Tressel appears along Michigan interstate (May 2)

7. 31 students suspended from Pioneer High School after senior prank (May 13)

8. Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez expects to meet with athletic director Dave Brandon this afternoon (Jan. 4)

9. Topic of how Rich Rodriguez treated former players remains a sensitive one for former members of Michigan football team (Feb. 6)

10. Top 5 observations about Brady Hoke and the Michigan football team's recruiting class (Feb. 3)

11. Case delayed against Ypsilanti Township woman accused of shooting husband and then claiming he was an intruder (April 17)



Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 6:30 a.m.

It does not surprise me that sports are the most read items. is a bit sparse on news but very big on sports. When I received their daily email the other day, I noticed that there were about 10 sports articles listed and only 4 news articles. I remember wondering why simply doesn't become a sports paper and forget about the other news altogether.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

Comfort thyselves....while basking in the solace of "sports" making our day....we can turn away from the national recognition of our trending to Mississippi of the North. "Emergency" managers, cuts to Educ, assisting in the agenda...the wider audience receiving the broader look of how our state is doing is probably quite a larger number than the views on Comfort yourselves none the less.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 4:14 a.m.

Yeah class of '11 made the list!


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

Really surprised no stories about AAPS and the new superintendent made the list. Oh wait, no i'm not surprised considering how quickly those stories get buried.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

Judging from all the comments about the initiative to get marijuana legalized in Michigan, I expect's most read story of 2012 to be "Doritos edges out Cocoa Puffs in Reader's Poll."

Michigan Man

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

I thought Ann Arbor had the smartest people in the USA? Based upon their apparent reading preferences (Michigan Football + RR) now I am not so sure.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 9:55 p.m.

What would you recommend A2 citizens read?


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

Haven't you questioned the intelligence of Ann Arbor residents in about the last 50 topics that you don't agree with? Some would suggest that shows an apparent attempt to demean rather than debate the issue at hand. Do you live in Ann Arbor? If not, why are you posting here?

Kai Petainen

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 3:22 p.m.

If you made a list based on the # of times that other newspapers/media/etc... referenced your articles.... what comes up at the top?


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

I guess MSU's quarterback Kirk Cousins remark really exposed Michigan Football for what it is. Third in the Big Ten and second in the Legends Division and you didn't play the champion team -Wisconsin. p.s. you did not beat MSU in football for four years in a row!


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

Third in the Big 10? But at least that's better than three losses.

Rob T

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

Consider too that may be a source for Michigan football news for fans outside of Ann Arbor (driving up page views), whereas politics, business, and crime are probably most of interest to a smaller local audience.

Paula Gardner

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

These are just the single headlines that had the most page views. I think it's interesting, but I can't say that every story here reflects what I think is important to readers, what readers say would be important to them or even what guides news decisions among editors at The news category of the site actually gets the most overall page views - so yes, people do care about and read local news.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

So, sports - really UM football - are the most read articles in Considering I never read one, I am not your target audience. Maybe with the start of the new year I need to start exploring the other news sources that have tried to replace the Ann Arbor News. Are other people reading other things, or are we just doing without local news?


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

homeland, outstanding. Please arrange for delivery to dextermoms home. She'll get her local news and we won't have to read her complaining about OUR local news.

Homeland Conspiracy

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 11:49 p.m.

@a2citizen No Dexter doesn't a a dot com news site they have thing called a NEWSPAPER! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 9:57 p.m.

Well, what does offer?


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:37 p.m.

I read the comics first. This isn't listing what you read first. This is listing total &quot;reads&quot;.

Beth Kirton

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

Lots of people pluck the sports page out of the newspaper too. That doesn't mean that other topics are not read or cultivated.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

looks like people around here care about MICHIGAN football!!


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 9:45 p.m.

Out of curiosity Julie, how much less could you care?


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 9:28 p.m.

Not so quickly, Mr. Spence. I personally could care less about football, local, or national.

David Spence

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.


David Cahill

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

How about posting the rank-ordered list of the top 50?