Balloon Boy takes 9News' website numbers through the roof

Channel 9 president and general manager Mark Cornetta should give Balloon Boy Falcon Heene and his dubious dad Richard a couple of big, wet kisses. Richard called 9News first (hmmmmm), giving the outlet a head start on what turned out to be the biggest, oddest story of the day in these United States -- and he capped off the evening with an interview (on view below) revealing that the balloon in question was a prototype for future travel: personal blimps for all! And because Channel 9 has a relationship with CNN, not to mention an NBC bureau based in its building, its footage was on view in more places than Cornetta can even guess.

The website numbers are equally spectacular. "To put things in perspective, our normal traffic on a day without any major breaking news or weather is usually anywhere from 750,000 to a million page views a day, and about 150,000 unique visitors," Cornetta says. "Yesterday, we had 4.6 million page views and 939,000 visitors. And between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. alone, we had 722,000 unique visitors and 3.8 million page views."

So, Falcon, if you're planning another flight...

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts