CNBC revamps Web site

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NEW YORK -- CNBC today took the wraps off a newly designed Web site that brings together several streams of live and on-demand video with graphics, data and analysis designed for a financial-news audience.

CNBC.com has been in the works for almost a year, well before the business channel's deal with MSN expired. It will include three types of video, including more than 75 video clips per day (both from the cable channel and original to the Web site) and between three and eight hours daily of live streamed events, all free to anyone who visits the site.

And for the first time, a premium service costing $9.95 a month will offer trading-day live streaming video of the domestic CNBC channel as well as CNBC Europe.

Having its own Web site is sort of back to the future for CNBC, which produced its own site from 1998-2001 when it signed a licensing agreement with MSN. That five-year deal ran out last month.

"The timing was right for us to go it alone again," CNBC president Mark Hoffman said. "We think technology and Web use has caught up with our core competency around video."

CNBC is taking full advantage of its all-digital facilities unveiled in 2003 at its headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. That will include twice hourly newscasts -- at the top and bottom of the hour -- called "Market in a Minute" that will feature CNBC hosts delivering updates live for the Web (and available on-demand). Maria Bartiromo will be doing the first newscast at 9 a.m. EST.

Also planned are interviews with newsmakers and other sources live for the Web. "Those guests will be coming straight off the television floor or direct for the Web, taking questions from the audience," said Meredith Stark, vp of CNBC.com.

Another new feature is the live blogging of the domestic channel, with producers inside the studio writing about what's on the channel and offering information and video extensions of what was discussed on air. That's in addition to the 24-hour video, dynamically updated charts and contextual information that will be offered.

More than 50 staff members have been hired for CNBC.com over the past couple of months, many integrated into the channel's television staffs and not just working online. The production will be handled by CNBC in New Jersey from 6 a.m. EST to 7 p.m., then handed over to the Singapore office until 2 a.m. EST when the London bureau will take over until 6 a.m.

"This is a 24-hour operation," said Scott Drake, vp of CNBC Digital. "This is not just something that will be programd during U.S. time."
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