AOL's TMZ Breaks Michael Jackson News, Crushes Competition


Breaking the Michael Jackson story an hour before any one else, and then crushing it with follow-up coverage all night long, AOL’s celebrity news site TMZ had a “huge” traffic spike, says a source.

TMZ also showed why it’s the future of the company.

Executives at AOL say a big part of the company’s future after its spin-off from Time Warner (TWX) will be growing its already massive blog network into a Time Inc of the 21st century.

But many of AOL’s most popular blogs began life as Weblogs Inc properties and only moved to AOL when Jason Calacanis sold that startup to the Time Warner subsidiary in 2005.

So the site that gives us the most confidence in AOL’s plan is TMZ. Home-grown, it’s the site that’s proved AOL can create and develop a category-winner all on its own.

Last night, TMZ showed how they’ve done it.

  • Early, breaking coverage.
  • Technical capacity to keep the site online while the competition crashed.
  • Writers willing to work all night to write-up real-time follow-up coverage.

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