It looks at such operations as The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post to help gauge the degree to which they use audience analytics at their sites to influence the print edition. Editors there, and at the Times itself, are cautionary about creating a newspaper based on Web results.
But for the first time print news organizations have some tools to give them real-time understanding of what is and isn't consumed. (Television has had similar overnight ratings to help them for some time.)
The challenge is to understand what content works best in what format. Some online content is popular because it has a limited shelf life --- a traffic snarl, a weather story, a breaking news item all might be irrelevant by the morning --- while other stories might be populist but not necessary of the character a newspaper is trying to curate. Clearly, too, some newspaper content isn't consumed similarly online.
But the Times piece indicates the opportunities that exist and the importance of using audience data to help fashion a stronger paper.