From the New York Observer:
Mr. Froomkin's answer was that newspaper editors are typically "not senstive enough to Web sites," and cited Drudge and the Huffington Post as sites that have taken important cues from readers.
Mr. Froomkin said his editors told him that they "didn't think the column was working anymore" and "traffic was down." "Compared to what?" Mr. Froomkin said. "There were some very banal reasons for traffic going down." He explained that the Washington Post site lost readers after the site changed formats, and that he was still getting his "sea legs" after the Obama administration took over from the Bush regime in the White House.
"There was of course the money issue," Mr. Froomkin said. "I was an easy line item to scratch out."
Froomkin's answer isn't all that illuminating; perhaps his own firing is still too fresh. The larger issue of hit counts deserves more debate, however.