WASHINGTON - The Rob Ford saga has received more intensive media coverage in the United States than any other Canadian news story since the turn of the century, newly released media-monitoring figures suggest.

If the Toronto mayor were an advertiser trying to buy up all the global media space he occupied over the month of November, it would have cost him $1.1 billion, says the Influence Communications analysis, released to The Canadian Press.

Ford's headline-making streak continued Wednesday.

Newly released court documents suggest Toronto police, in the throes of a drugs-and-guns investigation, overheard alleged gang members on wiretaps suggesting they had images of Ford using drugs that could be used for blackmail purposes.

That revelation capped a day in which Ford landed a weekly gig on a U.S. radio show titled "Sports Junkies"; commented on the controversy over the Washington Redskins' NFL team name; and made a Time magazine list of the year's most memorable apologies.

"No story in the 21st century has given Canada this much exposure," said Jean-Francois Dumas, president of the Montreal-based media monitoring firm.

"It's not just the tabloids. It's not just People. It's the New York Times, the New York Post. All sorts of media covered this. It became a social phenomenon.... It's truly exceptional in terms of coverage."

Ford, of course, became internationally notorious last month when he admitted having smoked crack cocaine, "probably in one of my drunken stupors," while apologizing and insisting he's not an addict.

According to the Influence calculations, Rob Ford was mentioned in 14,385 stories on U.S. TV, radio, websites and in newspapers between Nov. 4 — the day before his fateful admission — and Dec. 1.

Dumas said the story appeared in 75 countries and was the third most-covered story in the world on Nov. 6, while nearly 80 per cent of the foreign coverage occurred in the U.S.

The Ford brothers are well aware of their growing celebrity. They say they've turned down reality-show offers — from "everyone from Oprah to Dr. Phil," according to councillor Doug Ford — although word emerged Wednesday that the mayor would soon be heard in a weekly CBS Radio sports segment.

Earlier in the day, Ford lambasted the idea of changing the name of the Redskins, which many people consider racist: "What are we going to call the Cleveland Indians? The Cleveland Aboriginals? Where do we start? The Skins are the Skins and I stick with the Washington Redskins," Ford told reporters in Toronto.

He was also asked about having been named No. 2 on Time magazine's list of memorable 2013 apologies.

"Not No. 1?" he replied in jest.

Dumas compared the Ford coverage to that of other major Canadian stories.

His firm's "media prominence score," which tabulates the prevalence of a story over a given period of time, found that at its peak, the Ford saga drew 1.4 times the U.S. coverage of Quebec's Lac-Megantic rail tragedy and twice that of the Robert Pickton murder trial.

"It also received more coverage than the (Luka) Magnotta story, without any doubt," Dumas said. Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder and four other charges in the May 2012 death and dismemberment of Chinese student Jun Lin.

Ford even drew six times the coverage of Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut whose social-media antics and breathtaking photography during his recent mission at the International Space Station made him a global celebrity.

The Influence analysis also concluded that:

— The Toronto mayoral controversy represented 57 per cent of the foreign media coverage devoted to the province of Ontario and 19 per cent of the coverage devoted to Canada as a whole during the month of November;

— If broadcast on a single network, the Ford coverage could have filled almost four years' worth of airtime;

— It could have filled an entire daily newspaper, seven days every week, for six consecutive years.

Some of the U.S. coverage has been serious. Much has been treated as comic relief.

In one memorable segment, late-night host Jon Stewart managed to combine both the solemnity and the knee-slapping in what was essentially a televised intervention.

"Mayor Ford's a lot of fun to ridicule but, my guess is, not a lot of fun to eulogize. And that’s where this thing is headed," the Daily Show host said during one of his multiple segments on Ford.

"Even though I will lose precious material, please go to rehab! Will I lose jokes in the short term? Of course. But my guess is, it’s a long-term investment. You’ll be back. Get some help."

Don't count Dumas among those expressing worry that the incident might tarnish the image of the country, and its largest city, or turn off visitors or investors.

"It's very funny. It's very burlesque. But I don't believe that, ultimately, it will have a long-term negative impact on the country," he said.

"It's just one guy. The day he's gone, it's over. It's not (stories about) violence, collusion, corruption. It's just one individual, doing dumb things."

Before Wednesday's release of new court documents, which are likely to touch off a fresh feeding frenzy, U.S. media interest in Ford appeared to be abating in the U.S. in recent weeks.

News stories mentioning him dropped from a peak of 6,327 during the first week of November to 670 a month later, a decline of nearly 90 per cent.

"They're still talking about it. They're talking about it a lot. But they're talking about it a lot less than in the initial weeks," Dumas said.

"Which is altogether normal, by the way."

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  • Toronto Rob Ford, right, gestures to Councillor Paul Ainslee in the council chamber as councillors look to pass motions to limit his powers in Toronto on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. Blasting what he called a "coup d'etat," Ford said voters should be able to pass judgment on him, not his fellow councillors.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (centre) dances with participants ahead of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival in Toronto on Saturday July 30, 2011.

  • Toronto City Mayor Rob Ford, left, celebrates after defeating wrestler Hulk Hogan in an arm-wrestling match to promote Fan Expo in Toronto on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 .

  • Twenty-two month-old Micah MacMilan reacts as he is picked up by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford while Ford was signing bobblehead dolls in his likeness at City Hall in Toronto on Tuesday November 12, 2013.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds up a replica Grey Cup as he attends the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats CFL Eastern Conference final football game in Toronto on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laughs with fans as he attends the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats CFL Eastern Conference final football game in Toronto on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. Ford showed up at Sunday's Canadian Football League playoff game, despite a request by the league's commissioner that he stay away.

  • Canadian recording artist Drake, left, and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laugh at a news conference announcing that Toronto will host the 2016 NBA All-Star game, in Toronto, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford displays a milk moustache as he takes part in voting with city council members in Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford watches from the sidelines near the Argos bench during a CFL football game between the Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders in Calgary on Saturday, August 18, 2012.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford poses for photographs inside a giant shark mouth while attending the grand opening of the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. After two years of construction, delays and (Canadian) $130 million in costs, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada opened to the public Wednesday.

  • City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford poses for a photo opportunity with other dignitaries in a shark's jaws at the opening of Ripley's Aquarium of Canada in Toronto on Wednesday, October 16, 2013.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is hoisted into the air by his Don Bosco Eagles team after winning the Metro Bowl quarter-final at Birchmount Park in Toronto, Thursday Nov. 15, 2012. A civil trial hearing in which the mayor is accused of libel against a restaurant owner went on without him.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (center) smiles as he officially opens the refurbished Sunnydale rink with Toronto Maple Leafs' coach Ron Wilson (right) and other dignitaries who were on hand as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs who practiced on the outdoor rink in Toronto on Wednesday, January 4, 2012.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford grabs the Grey Cup by the handles during a parade celebrating the Toronto Argonauts victory in the Grey Cup final in Toronto on Tuesday November 27, 2012 .

  • Rob Ford Meets Butter Rob Ford

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/31/rob-ford-butter-sculpture-ex-cne_n_1846616.html" target="_hplink">Toronto Mayor Rob Ford comes face to face with a butter sculpture of himself at the Canadian National Exhibition</a>.

  • Butter Rob Ford

    As part of an exhibition at the CNE, Toronto-based artist Olenka Kleban has made a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/24/butter-rob-ford-sculpture_n_1828527.html" target="_hplink">butter sculpture of Toronto's mayor</a>.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford hoists the Grey Cup on stage with Toronto Argonauts players while celebrating the team's Grey Cup victory in downtown Toronto on Tuesday, Nov.27, 2012.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford stands at the door to his office as he waits for an elevator in Toronto on Thursday November 14, 2013.

  • Mayor Rob Ford speaks at city council in Toronto on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.

  • Nov. 13 2013. Toronto mayor Rob Ford during the afternoon session as councillors continued to debate a motion asking mayor Rob Ford to apologize to Torontonians for misleading therm about his use of crack cocaine.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks to his Don Bosco Eagles team during the Metro Bowl quarter-final at Birchmount Park in Toronto, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.

  • In this Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 file photo, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds a bobblehead doll depicting him at Toronto City Hall. An electoral map of the 2010 mayoral election shows that Ford's voter base resides mainly in a more conservative constituency than the downtown electorate.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (left) and city councillor Michelle Berardinetti (right) smile on stage during a performance of the Nutcracker in Toronto on Saturday, December 10, 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford jumps on stage dressed as a Cannon Doll during a performance of the Nutcracker in Toronto on Saturday, December 10, 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit)

  • Rob Ford's ballet debut

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford acts on stage dressed as a Cannon Doll during a performance of the Nutcracker in Toronto on Saturday, December 10, 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit)

  • City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford addresses the media outside office in Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, after the release of a video. A new video surfaced showing Ford in a rage, using threatening words including "kill" and "murder."

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford emerges from his office holding slices of a birthday cake to offer to members of the media at city hall in Toronto on Tuesday May 28, 2013.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford arrives at City Hall in Toronto amid allegations of crack cocaine use on Friday May 17, 2013, in Toronto. Published reports say a video appears to show Ford smoking crack cocaine. Ford called the allegations ridiculous.

  • Toronto City Mayor Rob Ford watches players from Don Bosco Eagles, the High School team he coaches, warm up before they compete against the Huron Heights Warriors in the Metro Cup in Toronto on Tuesday November 27, 2012 Those whose antics threaten to besmirch the party name normally don't get a second chance with Canada's federal Conservatives. Not so, it would seem, for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford carries the Pan American games flag in Omnilife Stadium during the closing ceremonies of the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. Toronto will host the games in 2015.

  • Toronto City Mayor Rob Ford reacts after Don Bosco Eagles, the High School team he coaches, lost 28-14 to Huron Heights Warriors in the Metro Cup in Toronto on Tuesday November 27, 2012.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford talks to a staff member at city hall in Toronto on Wednesday November 6, 2013.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford addresses reporters at City Hall in Toronto on Tuesday November 27, 2012.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford briefly takes the stage to greet the crowd as part of the New Years Eve celebrations at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto on Monday, December 31, 2012.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford sits on the back of Chicago's First Lady as he takes in an architectural boat tour on the Chicago River Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. Ford was visiting the city on a Toronto-Chicago Business Mission.

  • <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/21/rob-ford-fall-gif-video_n_2170653.html">Rob Ford was at an event to promote the Grey Cup when he fell while hamming it up for the press. A GIF of the fall went viral on the Internet</a>.

  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, left, makes a light hearted comment as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laughs during the signing of a new "sister cities" declaration Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, in Chicago.

  • Toronto Mayor-elect Rob Ford, centre, raises his arms with his wife Renata, right, and mother Diane, left, as he speaks to supporters in Toronto on Monday, October 25, 2010.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, top right, waves to photographers during a boat tour with members of the Toronto-Chicago Business Mission on the Chicago River waterfront Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, in Chicago.

  • Dave Chappelle And Rob Ford

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  • <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/14/rob-ford-reading-driving-car-gardiner_n_1776183.html" target="_hplink">Rob Ford is seen reading while driving</a> in this photo from Twitter.

  • <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/07/30/rob-ford-will-ferrell-zach-galifianakis-sketch_n_1719420.html" target="_hplink">Rob Ford meets with comedic actors Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis</a>.