The Star Tribune may be slogging through bankruptcy, but it is the rare big city daily that shows continued growth and success on the internet.
In the latest Nielson Online stats published by Editor and Publisher, the Strib's average time on site nearly doubled year-to-year, from 27 minutes in May 2008 to 47 minutes in May 2009, making it the "stickiest" newspaper. This at a time when the average time on site decreased for over half of the 30 listed papers.
There are a lot of theories why this is--everything from oppressive page reloads to a wealth of major news stories, including a never-ending senate race, and the luck of being located in the most literate market in America. But it's a measure of user engagement that can't be easily moved through search engine optimization, so it suggests the Strib has a solid foundation on which to build a future once it manages to extricate itself from bankruptcy.