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King of the Internet 2008: Guess who?

Despite bold claims from competitors who promised to knock off the "King of the Internet" in Las Vegas, as well as critics (better known as disgruntled former employees) who whimper in the dark of their little-read blogs about one bitter conceit or another, the Las Vegas Review-Journal widened its lead as Nevada’s dominant news and media Web site in 2008.

Here are the latest web traffic rankings from Hitwise for December.

The R-J was ranked the 72nd largest print website in the U.S. and the 152th largest website in the News and Media category, which includes print, electronic media and web portals like The Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Google and Yahoo. The R-J improved 7 positions in that latter category in December. The Sun stumbled backwards again (this time another 10 positions) to No. 607. Meanwhile, the Reno Gazette-Journal advanced 50 positions to the rank of No. 702.

The local television stations finished December like this:

Channel 8: No. 845
Channel 3: No. 1555
Channel 5: No. 1617
Channel 13: No. 1750

The most significant move for the month came from Channel 8, which moved up a couple hundred spots and pulled cleanly away from other television stations in Las Vegas. Kudos to the journalists there. Interestingly, for a brief time in December, the troubled and once-for-sale TV station out ranked the market share of the Sun, which says just as much about the failure of the Sun as it does the success of Channel 8.

After spending wheelbarrows full of cash last year to hire a new team of alleged Internet saviors, in addition to trying to artificially juice up their rankings by burning wads of cash to buy key words on search engines, the Sun instead lost market share and failed to either separate itself from weaker television Web sites or gain ground on the Las Vegas market-share leader, the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Sun spent millions to go backwards. How can that be? I know why but, I trust you’ll forgive me if I keep that secret to myself.

Hitwise is the gold standard of Internet measurement in the United States. Below is a graph from Hitwise once again showing how the cow ate the cabbage in 2008.

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