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Never before have so many tools been available to analyze and clarify digital influence. The 2009 Digital Influence in News and Politics Report leverages these tools to measure the influence of those best-in-class media companies in the digital sphere.

Sparxoo evaluated over 100 news and politics media outlets (from the New York Times to the Daily Beast to NPR) in a comprehensive study of content, social and multimedia influence.

The Report crowns CNN as the #1 digital influencer, followed by The New York Times (a pleasant surprise for "The Gray Lady"). The Digital Influencer in News and Politics Report confirms and debunks many of the long-held media myths perpetuated by marketers, brand managers and other business leaders. It is through these findings that we can re-align the media compass to find tomorrow’s true north.

1. CNN
Firestarter of the 24-hour news cycle, CNN has translated their energy to the web. CNN has high marks across the board–ranking number one in content influence, social influence and overall. The only news outlet to have a pagerank of 10/10, CNN draws much strength from search and backlinks. CNN uses the digital trickle down effect–where pagerank leads to search referrals, which leads to backlinks and sharing and the cycle continues.

2. The New York Times
Thought of as an aging titan, The New York Times is a leading digital influencer in news and politics. Fusing quality and quantity, The New York Times’ content spreads like wildfire across social media and content aggregators. Though The Times’ Twitter following surpasses 1.8 million, they are still thought of as behind the curve, when in actuality, they are 141 miles ahead of it. Truth be told: don’t believe everything you hear.

3. Fox News
Where is Fox most competitive? The right-leaning news network leans towards audio–weighing in at number three. Personality, Bill O’Reilly, makes the iTune’s top 25 news and politics podcast list with his show, Talking Points. Fox adds a curve ball to the ratings by scoring number one in Apple apps. Though the right-wing outlet doesn’t have a break-away app, they do have many local affiliates that dominate the top iTunes 100 apps. To crack the top 2, Fox will have to improve on Twitter and YouTube.

4. NPR
For NPR, community-supported means both on-air and online. The nonprofit is not only supported by donations, it’s fueled by fans… Facebook fans that is. NPR outpaces even the New York Times on Facebook, with the most fans of any major media outlet. Why is the nonprofit profiting from social media buzz? It might have to do with their unique, content rich site, coupled with customized playlists and actively listening to its community. NPR is the intersection of quality and digital savvy.

5. CBS News
CBS excels in multimedia while barely making the cut in other categories. CBS takes the golden cup when it comes to YouTube. CBS is a leader on YouTube, with 143k channel subscriptions and far outpaces everyone in video views. Such an asset might prove valuable as online video advertising increases in popularity.

6. BBC
BBC is a hit or miss in the several categories of influence. The British news and entertainment company is hot on CBS’ trail in YouTube influence–with only 10k less subscribers. BBC is perched at number one in RSS subscriptions with 2.8 million subscriptions–400k more..

To read the rest of the Top 25 Digital Influencers in News and Politics, go to Sparxoo, a digitla marketing, branding and business development blog.