FRANKLIN, Tennessee–In less than two months since September, traffic at The Tennessee Star has grown from 3 million visits to an astounding 4 million visits subsequent to its launch in early February.
We just had our FOUR MILLIONTH visit to The https://t.co/Awo9LigL60 since our launch Feb 6.
THANK YOU, Tennessee – your readership and support mean the world to us! pic.twitter.com/aThos9gCeg
— Tennessee Star (@TheTNStar) November 17, 2017
Launched on February 6, The Star hit the 3 million visit mark on September 23. It took just 7 weeks and 6 days to add another 1 million visits and hit the 4 million visit mark on Friday, November 17.
It took The Star 3 months and 16 days from its launch on February 6 until it hit the first 1 million visit mark on May 23.
Adding another million total visits in about half the time it took to reach the first million visits is a sign The Star’s traffic growth continues to accelerate dramatically.
When asked what the secret to the upstart news outlet’s success is, Managing Editor Christina Botteri replied, “That is an interesting question. I believe it’s a number of factors that together, have created a new space in the news and information market here is Tennessee. A space I contend was always there, but terribly underserved.”
She continued, “I grew up in the 1970s and 80s, and Ronald Reagan’s ethos of ‘big, bold colors’ resonated strongly with me. Throughout his time on the world stage, he talked about being honest, brave, unapologetic, clear – and most of all, joyful – and these are all elements that inform the tone and tenor of our reporting.
“We are transparently pro-America, pro-Constitution, pro-Trump, and pro-truth – which is why we are covering stories no one else is willing or able to.
“We really believe in things like constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets. We detest cronyism, self-dealing, and unaccountable government overreach.
“Which is why we have such a unique mix of reporting, compared to the other news platforms around the Volunteer State.”
Botteri recounts a recent evaluation by the third-party site, MediaBiasFactCheck.com. “I was delighted to see our evaluation as ‘Right’ and our rating as ‘Highly Factual’ – they got it right!” she said.
Over the last nine months, The Star has been at the forefront of reporting on several issues Tennesseans care deeply about, which is reflected in the rapid growth of readership of the site.
“For example, take our coverage of Governor Haslam’s unpopular gas tax hike. We exposed not just the problems with the law from a policy standpoint, but also the very questionable process irregularities and potential for self-dealing. We followed up, and the potentialities we reported are now coming to light, which has resulted in a few of the central figures supporting the measure retiring or facing strong primary challenges next year,” Botteri said.
Praise for The Tennessee Star’s coverage of state and local news comes from across the state and across the political spectrum.
“The Tennessee Star has become a must read for me every day,” Nashville Tea Party founder and Ben Cunningham said.
“I am so pleased that others are also finding it a necessity. Congratulations to all The Star staff for very high quality news coverage. Tennessee citizens are better informed and better able to hold our elected representatives accountable because of all your hard work,” Cunningham added.
Former State Senator and Tennessee Democratic Party State Chairman Roy Herron credits The Star’s coverage of Dr. Bryan Merrick, the small-town West Tennessee doctor in McKenzie, Tennessee whose Medicare billing privileges were revoked in March, for playing a role in the happy resolution of that issue and the restoration of his Medicare billing privileges.
“My friend and client Dr. Bryan Merrick was suffering the most egregious abuse of an individual by government that I’ve seen in my 30 years in and around government. The Tennessee Star immediately understood, explained the facts so others could understand, and I know for a fact got the attention of lawmakers in Washington,” Herron said.
“Dr. Merrick and his family and all of us are most grateful for the insights and advocacy of The Star that helped make the difference in achieving a just and right result that let Dr. Merrick continue to serve our region and the patients he loves. Thanks for defending his — and all of our — freedom,” the Dresden, Tennessee based attorney concluded.
“Congratulations to The Tennessee Star on its four million visitors since launch,” Mark A. Skoda, long-time grassroots conservative activist and chairman and founder of the America First Federation, said.
“The team has done a terrific job of providing interesting content, great visuals and a combination of Tennessee and national stories. It’s my Tennessee go-to website which I read daily!” Skoda added.
“The Tennessee Star is providing real news, that, while conservative, informs and challenges the reader without dictating a point of view. I look forward to the continued development of the site in a world of biased MSM outlets,” Skoda concluded.
In addition to the hard-hitting news The Star offers, the site teamed up with the Polk Foundation to create a program of articles, events, as well as a supplementary textbook to help educate secondary school students about the Constitution.
Launched in April, The Tennessee Star’s ‘Constitution Series’ is an original, 20-part series discussing the content and context of the United States Constitution, which culminated in September with the first-of-its-kind Tennessee Star Constitution Bee for secondary school level students.
“We were thrilled with the response from the community – so much so that we are organizing another Constitution Bee at the end of April!” Botteri said.
The steep growth in traffic can be traced back to The Star’s fundamental understanding of the algorithms that drive social media traffic and coverage of the top three areas of most concern for Tennesseans, as reported in the Tennessee Star-Triton Poll released earlier this year.
“We listen closely to what people have to say about the issues they are concerned about most, which is how we’ve been able to successfully set the narrative for the two upcoming state-wide elections in 2018. I believe our polling will be proven true as we see the Gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races play out,” Botteri predicted.
“Tennesseans are smart, hard-working people who tell us they are sick of the cheap Kabuki theater that so much of politics have become and are instead interested in solutions and results that put them, as taxpaying citizens, first,” Botteri said.
“This is the platform President Trump ran on, and it’s the platform they expect him and all the other beneficiaries of their votes from 2016 to deliver,” she added.
“And frankly, they are raising their standards for media, too,” Botteri said. “Our readers can spot ‘Fake News’ coming from a mile away, and they are sick of it,” The Star’s managing editor continued.
“By contrast, our unique combination of breaking legislative news coverage, clear-eyed, in-depth analysis about incumbents’ and candidates’ politics and policy in Tennessee, a close eye on government overreach with an emphasis on accountability, plus our coverage of illegal immigration and refugee resettlement issues in a way not seen at all in other mainstream news outlets here in Tennessee puts us at a distinct advantage over the established, corporate-run mainstays,” Botteri noted.
The Tennessee Star is a privately owned commercial news enterprise that has attracted a significant number of local advertisers since its launch in February, and has posted a profit each quarter.