Newsday.com: Real Competition For the Times?

So while the city’s biggest media moguls—and the FCC and Congress—start to sort out who can buy Newsday, some curious analysis of the newspaper’s Web site is going around.

Yesterday, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said at the Times Center that newsday.com was its top competition for grown-ups.

“NYTimes.com also ranks No. 1 in coverage of the greater New York market, reaching 28 percent of adults,” he said. “Our closest competitor, Newsday.com, reaches 16 percent.”

And why is it Newsday.com does so well among middle-agers? Because baby boomers just love those hilarious animated videos on their site.

As we reported back in December:

One of the quiet mysteries over the last week is why exactly newsday.com became (1) the fifth-most read news web site in the country last month and (2) why unique visitors increased by 182 percent in November 2007 versus November 2006. It was ranked higher than the New York Post and the LA Times. Did everyone is Syosset and Manhasset finally get cable modems?

The reason, according to Newsday online editor Jonathan McCarthy, has to do with a political cartoon that went viral all over the internets.

“Walt was a big part of it in November,” said Mr. McCarthy. He’s referring to Walt Handelsman, the Pultizer Prize winning cartoonist who made this animation of aging baby boomers to the tune of “Born to Be Wild” (switched in the cartoon to Born Tubby and Mild).

Newsday.com received about 5.3 million unique visits in November with a significant portion coming to see that animation. “Mom got this and emailed it to an aunt who emailed it to an uncle who emailed a friend at work,” he said.