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CNN broadens its Web site with regional focus

Published on .

CNN Interactive, the 24-hour online news and information service that launched on the Web just over a year ago, will launch regional Web products by the end of the year, said Harry Motro, the CNN senior vice president who heads the CNN Interactive division.

Currently, visitors to the Web site find international news in the World News section. There's so much news lumped into the one section, however, that section is becoming unwieldy. "The Internet has become a very worldwide phenomenon," Mr. Motro said during a October 30 visit to London. In the future, world news will be divided into Europe-Middle East, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Africa. Regionalizing the section will allow more stories to be carried.

CNN Interactive averages 10 million to 12 million hits per day. Two thirds of its users are based in the U.S.. The largest number of non-U.S. users come from Australia, Canada, The Netherlands and Japan, according to a non-scientific survey of 1,000 users during one particular week.

Motro says the site is "slightly profitable," largely because it piggybacks on CNN's other editorial and sales resources, according to Mr. Motro, though CNN Interactive does have 120 journalists and technologists dedicated to the project. The Web site's revenues comes from advertising and hot links. Advertisers are charged between $40 and $80 per thousand impressions and CNN provides advertisers with data on the number of people clicking through their sites.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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