American Media, Inc. (AMI) has announced that RadarOnline.com, the leading entertainment and celebrity news source, earned a record seven nominations in the 56th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards, including a coveted nod for best news blog.
Earning by far the most nominations for any celebrity publication, the Los Angeles Press Club also recognized Radar in the key categories of investigative journalism, best online news story and entertainment news report.
AMI’s Vice President of News Dylan Howard, the Editorial Director of RadarOnline.com, was nominated for entertainment journalist of the year.
Jen Heger, the site’s Managing Editor, also earned a nomination for best online entertainment news story for her breaking news coverage of Charlie Sheen’s custody battle with his ex-wives.
Melissa Cronin, Executive Editor, received, in total, three nominations.
Meanwhile, Radar — which grew an unprecedented 56% increase in audience during 2013 -- was nominated for best news blog. The site was previously named Best Entertainment News Website at the 2011 National Entertainment Journalism Awards.
The Press Club’s judges found RadarOnline.com’s in-depth investigation into Tom Cruise, titled 'Exposed: Tom Cruises' Secret Life – In His Own Words,' an irresistible exclusive for the site’s 13.8 million readers each month.
Other exclusive stories recognized include Paula Deen’s confession that she used a racist term, which lead to her firing from the Food Network, jailhouse letters from Boston mobster Whitey Bulger during which he broke his silence on his murder convictions, and Ryan O’Neal’s deposition admission how Farrah Fawcett once walked in on him cheating.
The Press Club’s acknowledgment comes after Radar cemented itself as the most trusted and influential entertainment news website in 2013, surging to impressive and unparalleled growth across all platforms (desktop, mobile and tablet), resulting in record traffic.
Original and exclusive news content helped propel the site to three consecutive months of all-time traffic highs (October-December) among the key category of unique visits, according to both ComScore and Google Analytics.
In all, a total of 118 million unique visitors came to the site in 2013, a 56% increase in audience through December 2013 from January 2013. Page views grew 63% and visits, 39%, over the same period. Per industry analyst ComScore, Radar lodged a high of 5.295 in September -- up from 1.052 in February.
Throughout this period of unprecedented growth, RadarOnline.com consistently showcased why it is a must-read for the celebrity-obsessed.
"I'm incredibly proud of the work our reporting staff has done this past year, and thank the L.A. Press Club for recognizing our efforts,” said Howard.
“These honors recognize RadarOnline.com as the leading celebrity website for original and exclusive news content."
The Los Angeles Press Club exists to support, promote and defend quality journalism in Southern California. The awards will be handed out at a gala ceremony June 29 at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
Full list of RadarOnline.com's nominations:
ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR — Dylan Howard
ONLINE NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR — Dylan Howard, David Perel, Jen Heger, Melissa Cronin & The RadarOnline.com Team, “I Use the ‘N’ Word Y’all! The Real Paula Deen Revealed”
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR — Jen Heger, RadarOnline, “The Littlest Victim: Charlie Sheen & Brooke Mueller’s Son Bob Shown With Disturbing Injuries… As The Pair’s Bitter Custody Battle Rages On”
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR — Dylan Howard, RadarOnline, “He’s No Angel! Ryan O’Neal Confesses Under Oath How Farrah Fawcett Walked In On Him Cheating”
BLOG — Dylan Howard, Jen Heger & Melissa Cronin, "Exposed: Tom Cruises' Secret Life – In His Own Words"
INVESTIGATIVE STORY OF THE YEAR — Dylan Howard and Melissa Cronin, RadarOnline.com, “Letters From the Departed: Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger Speaks out from Jail”
INVESTIGATIVE STORY OF THE YEAR — Dylan Howard, Jen Heger, Melissa Cronin, RadarOnline.com, ”Exposed: Tom Cruises’ Secret Life – In His Own Words”