Mediaweek: Top 10 Most-Read Stories

With the unraveling economy serving as a backdrop, Mediaweek’s most popular Web coverage for 2008 ranged from the effect the Presidential race had on ratings and revenue to the growing concerns of online publishers about ad networks.

Research on changing viewership patterns and platform shifts were popular throughout the year as was coverage of network scheduling, social networks and the fight over content regulation. Coverage of sports media was a consistent traffic booster, with stories like NASCAR’s “Gopher Cam” proving popular. As always the magazine Hot List, from Mediaweek’s editors, generated a lot of buzz and solid traffic numbers online. The following are Mediaweek’s Top 10 stories of 2008. —Jim Cooper

1. Updated: ABC’s Election Night Audience Hits 13.1 Million

ABC led the networks in total viewers on Election Night Tuesday, with a 13.1 million viewers in prime time and a 4.4 rating among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen Media Research data. –Marc Berman 

2. Study to Track All-Day Media Usage

What better way to track people’s video consumption than to have someone follow them around all day — literally from the time they wake up until they retire at night — making detailed notes about when and how they watch, listen, surf, read, play video games, download, text and talk on the phone? –Steve McClellan, Adweek

3. Steve Koonin, Turner’s Idea Man

It’s the stuff of 1950s-era science fiction, the sort of idea that, like the man who thought it up, is at once audacious and not just a little hilarious. And while Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, says he’s reluctant to go into great detail about it, he’s not exactly trying to change the subject, either. –Anthony Crupi

4. ABC Announces Scripted Show Renewals

ABC has officially announced pickups for nine of its most popular scripted drama and comedy series for next season. The network will bring back Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Dirty Sexy Money, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, Samantha Who? and Ugly Betty. –John Consoli

5. Updated: PTC: Nets Peddling Too Much Sex; TV Watch Responds

The Parents Television Council says the broadcast television networks favor adultery and promiscuity over marital intimacy, and in a new study, suggests that “many in Hollywood are actively seeking to undermine marriage by consistently showing it in a negative manner.” –John Consoli

6. ESPN Turns Off Ad Nets

Top Web publishers are planning a revolt. Even as more prominent sites experiment with selling remnant inventory through online ad networks, and in some cases ad exchanges, is saying thanks, but no thanks. –Mike Shields

7. No Post-Election Slump for Fox News

Conventional wisdom would suggest that cable news ratings were ripe for a precipitous fall once the cuticle-gnawing tension of the election finally abated on Nov. 4 at around 11 p.m. EST. –Anthony Crupi

8. Fox’s Daytona 500 to Feature ‘Gopher Cam’

During its telecast of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17, Fox will introduce “Gopher Cam,” a small, stationary, high-definition camera buried below the asphalt track surface at the Daytona International Speedway. –John Consoli

9. The 2008 Hot List: Stories and Videos

Homer Simpson may be onto something. John Micklethwait, editor of the highbrow British news and opinion weekly The Economist, knew his magazine had solidified its place in the American culture when The Simpsons’ beloved, hapless patriarch paid homage in an episode. –AdweekMedia Staff Report

10. Social Networking Traffic Up as Advertising Falls Flat

More than half the country actively uses social networking sites, but so far advertising on these properties is nothing short of anemic, says a new report issued by market research firm IDC. In fact, IDC calls advertisers’ attempts to tap into these sites’ unique social nature “stillborn.”  –Mike Shields