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FoxNews.com leads all news and information sites in customer satisfaction, according to analysis of the 2010 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) by ForeSee Results.

Fox Debuts at Top
FoxNews.com earned the highest ACSI score, 82, of all news and information sites rated by ACSI, in its first year of being included. This score substantially beat both the aggregate score for the news and information category (74) as well as the score of runner up USAToday.com (77).

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While the aggregate ASCI score for news and information sites has remained flat since 2009, it is interesting that the other top four sites (USAToday.com, NYTimes.com, ABCNews.com, and MSNBC.com) have all experienced an increase since last year.

However, the combined ACSI score for all news and information sites other than these five and CNN.com (73 in 2010, up 2.8% from 71 in 2009) has dropped 2.7%, from 75 in 2009 to 73 in 2010.

FoxNews Benefits from Ideology, Other Factors
Various factors have pushed FoxNews.com to the top of the customer satisfaction scorecard, according to ForeSee analysis. Fox viewers lean to the ideological right, and ForeSee data suggests Fox has a distinct, loyal audience, which usually correlates with higher satisfaction.

In addition, ForeSee research indicates that compared to viewers of other news and information sites, Fox viewers are slightly older, have lower income and education levels, and rely more on one primary online news source. Sixty-three percent of site users see Fox as their primary news source, while MSNBC.com serves as the primary news source for only 49% of its website visitors, online or offline. The site whose audience was least likely to consider it their primary news source, however, was USAToday.com (39%).

Satisfaction is highly influenced by the expectations a visitor has; it’s easier to satisfy people who visit fewer sites regularly because they may have less experience and therefore lower expectations. Another possible contributor to its success is that FoxNews.com seems to have successfully translated the personality of its on-air brand to its website, says ForeSee.

Other Findings

  • Compared to the other measured news sites, ABCNews.com users visit the site least often (21% visit daily) while NYTimes.com users visit most frequently (35% visit daily).
  • NYTimes.com readers prefer web news to other news sources (46% get at least half of their news online) while FoxNews.com readers prefer to get their news on TV (40% of FoxNews.com readers prefer TV news to other news sources).
  • Users of USAToday.com, MSNBC.com, and NYTimes.com monitor more total news sources than users of ABCNews.com, CNN.com, and FoxNews.com.
  • NYTimes.com users are most willing to consider paying for content on the site (9% of users would consider paying for content on that site) while only 2% of MSNBC.com users would consider it.
  • Website visitors pay more attention to ads on USAToday.com and ABCNews.com than the other measured sites: 15% of USAToday.com users and 14% of ABCNews.com users pay attention to ads compared to 10% of visitors for both CNN.com and FoxNews.com.
  • USAToday.com, NYTimes.com, and FoxNews.com are credited by their site audiences with more relevant ads than the other measured sites.

Six in 10 Americans Get News Online
Sixty-one percent of Americans get some kind of news online during a typical day, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Most news consumers utilize multiple platforms for news, but online their range of specific outlets is limited. The majority of online news consumers (57%) say they routinely rely on just two to five websites for their news. Only 11% say they get their news from more than five websites, and 21% regularly rely on just one site.

About the Data: The American Customer Satisfaction Index is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the US. Data from interviews with approximately 70,000 customers annually are used as inputs into an econometric model to measure satisfaction with more than 225 companies in 45 industries and 10 economic sectors, as well as more than 130 federal government departments, agencies, and websites.

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