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E! EYES ENTERTAINMENT BEAT ONLINE

By Published on .

Search for "entertainment" on Infoseek, and you'll get 59,000 entries.

But E! Online hopes to become the first stop for entertainment news.

The site (http://www.eonline.com) launches today as a 50-50 venture of E! Entertainment Television and CNET.

E! Online will have 70% to 80% original content, said James Hughes, the Web site's VP-marketing and creative development.

Gimmicks include a camera constantly trained on Rodeo Drive to give PC users a snapshot of Beverly Hills' main street.

E! will also cross-promote online and TV programs. E! this week begins its much-hyped airing of "Melrose Place" reruns, for example, and E! Online will pay tribute with unofficial "Melrose Place" sites and discussion groups.

CNET, the tech-themed cable and online producer, will focus on providing technology.

E! Online's key rival will be Starwave Corp.'s Mr. Showbiz (http://www.mrshowbiz.com). They actually have shared ownership: Billionaire Paul Allen is an investor in Starwave and CNET.

Time Warner, as 48% owner of E! Entertainment Television, also owns a chunk of E! Online.

E! Online is close to deals with two technology marketers and one package-goods marketer, said John Dawson, VP-advertising sales. The site will charge $50 per thousand banner impressions.

While E! Online will buy banners to draw traffic, Mr. Hughes said much of the audience initially will be generated from E! on TV.

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