Thursday, May 7, 2009 | 12:28 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS -- Awards given to the best media-affiliated Web sites in the country are making a one-way trip to the desert.
The Las Vegas Sun and its sister Web site, lasvegasweekly.com on Thursday snagged three "EPpy awards" at an annual Editor & Publisher/Mediaweek EPpy awards luncheon in New Orleans. The lasvegassun.com awards included Best Overall Newspaper-Affiliated Web Site with fewer than 1 million unique monthly visitors -- one of the two highest EPpy honors.
The Wall Street Journal won the Best Overall Newspaper-Affiliated Web site award for sites with more than 1 million unique monthly visitors.
LasVegasSun.com also won the Best Web Special Feature, News or Event, award for Web sites with fewer than 1 million unique monthly visitors for its History of Las Vegas section. That section includes decade-by-decade interactive maps of the Las Vegas Strip, as well as video reports and a look at the ties mobsters had to casinos in the city's early days. The New York Times won that award for Web sites competing in the larger category.
LasVegasWeekly.com won the award for Best Entertainment Web Site with fewer than 1 million unique monthly visitors. The Web site for The Boston Globe won in the larger category.
The only media Web sites to win more than one award were the Las Vegas Sun, The Boston Globe, ESPN and CNN. Sites that won one award included USA Today, the Arizona Daily Star, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
"The sites that are honored are truly the best Web sites" in the media industry, said Len Muscarella, who was the master of ceremonies for the Thursday event.
The Sun was nominated for awards in two other categories: Best Sports Web Site for its coverage of the UNLV Rebels and Best Web Special Feature for its Water Crisis project. The Sun competed in a category with sites that have fewer than 1 million unique monthly visitors.
This is the second consecutive year the Sun has left the annual conference with an EPpy award. Last year, when the event was at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, lasvegassun.com was honored as the "Best Overall Newspaper-Affiliated Web Site" with fewer than 1 million unique monthly visitors.
According to its Web site, the EPpy Award "honors the best Web sites in the media world." Entrants are "judged on criteria such as design, ease of use, comprehensiveness and timeliness, with special attention to each entrant’s value added through the unique attributes of interactivity."
Nearly 400 entries were submitted for this year’s EPpy Awards and the winners were determined by a panel of 45 judges and announced as part of an interactive media conference held this week in New Orleans. No other Nevada media organization received an award.
Editor & Publisher announced during the annual convention this week that its conference next year will return to Las Vegas.