by Lance Turner
Posted 12/22/2008 12:00 am
Updated 11 months ago
John Glasgow, chief financial officer of CDI Contractors LLC, left his Little Rock home in the early-morning hours of Jan. 28 and hasn't been seen since.
An in-depth report on the days leading to his disappearance, which included details of CDI's contentious relationship with half-owner Dillard's Inc., logged tens of thousands of page views after its publication online on Feb. 28.
Intense interest in the case prompted the decision to post Editor Gwen Moritz's cover story online four days before it reached newsstands. The story also featured a slideshow of photos and PDF documents related to the case. It remains online at ArkansasBusiness.com/JohnGlasgow.
In 2008, the Web continued to be the place readers went first for breaking news. ArkansasBusiness.com's first breaking news article on an attack on KATV-TV, Channel 7, news anchor Anne Pressly was the year's second most trafficked story. Page views also rose when the site reported word that Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney had been shot.
With both stories, readers returned to ArkansasBusiness.com multiple times throughout the day for updates and related stories. In fact, ArkansasBusiness.com logged its busiest day of the year on Aug. 13, the day Gwatney was shot and, later in the afternoon, died.
Other People's Money
Admittedly, all three stories boasted sensational elements destined to attract high reader interest. But more traditional business coverage proved popular as well.
A story by Jamie Walden about the FCC's approval of a multibillion-dollar merger between Verizon Wireless and Alltel Corp. of Little Rock was the third most popular story of the year. And a print cover story by George Waldon, which examined how the local economy might absorb the hundreds of jobs likely to be cut in the merger, was No. 7.
Other print stories posted to the Web drew significant numbers. A feature by Mark Friedman on million-dollar home sales was fourth in popularity, more evidence that Arkansas Business readers – in print and online – love to read about other people's money. Another Friedman cover story, a status check on ailing department store chain Dillard's, reached No. 5. No one would be surprised to learn that sex and crime attract online readers. An item on political strategist Noelle Nikpour's racy Web site was the most-viewed Whisper of the year. And a July breaking news story on a $2.1 million embezzlement at Home BancShares, in which Arkansas Business was the first to name prime suspect Brent Geels, was the No. 9 most popular story online. Geels pled guilty to the crime earlier this month.
Readers were also attracted to "good" news. ArkansasBusiness.com was the first to report that Hewlett-Packard planned to build an operation in Conway and employ 1,200 people.
Economic development officials weren't happy that the site broke the news days before the official announcement. Readers made the story by Mark Hengel the 10th most popular of the year.