Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ever heard of TMZ?

I was working at a marketing firm last year when my boss rushed out of his office, clutching an industry magazine. "Have any of you ever heard of TMZ.com?" he breathed. Almost everyone shook their heads.

A few of us, looking very guilty, raised our hands.

I take comfort in the fact that I wasn't alone: more than 9 million unique visitors feast on the celebrity-news site, which has more than 120 million monthly page views, according to comScore Media Metrix.

Yes, 120 MILLION page views. Every 30 days.

And TMZ's about to get even more eyeballs: Monday marks the premiere of “TMZ TV,” the brand's foray into on-air entertainment news.

A lot of industry folk are calling it “groundbreaking:” an online success story that is hoping to spin off a (even more lucrative) TV component.

But Harvey Levin, the former-lawyer-turned-celebrity-reporter who runs the site, claims he isn't aiming to be a pioneer.

From the AP story:

The program has a good shot at making it, said Bill Carroll, an expert in syndication for Katz Television.

"In a million years, I never would have believed that the national conversation would have been Paris, Britney and Lindsay," Carroll said. "No organization is better at covering that than TMZ. If they can take the tongue-in-cheek sensibility that the Web site has and translate it to broadcast, I'd be very surprised if it's not a success."

Who's willing to fess up: any of you have a guilty-pleasure site like TMZ at the top of your "favorites" list?

To our lawyer readers: ever thought about going the Harvey Levin route?

-JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor

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