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Updated: The companies have officially announced it..details in release.
An interesting development for CNN.com, and CNN in general: it has taken a minority stake in Internet Broadcasting Systems, the TV station websites publisher that manages the sites of 70 local TV stations around the country. CNN.com will also offer more local news offered on any of those TV sites on its site as a result and, it hopes, land a bigger slice of the fast-growing market for local online ads, reports WSJ. Minneapolis-based IBS has been around for a long time, starting in 1996, as a third party producer and publisher for local TV station websites. Other previous investors in Internet Broadcasting include Hearst-Argyle, Post-Newsweek and McGraw Hill.History of the company here.
CNN.com, MSNBC.com and Yahoo News have fierce rivalry on the national front, and now taking the battle to local news. For CNN.com and the IBS affiliates, the hope is the arrangement would increase traffic on all the sites involved…IBS sites get 13.9 million unique visitors, making the company the sixth-most-trafficked news property on the Web, according to NetRatings. IBS’s NBC affiliates aren’t a part of the deal because they feed traffic to MSNBC.com.
Also, CNN also is planning to roll out a redesigned site this summer that the story says will make all its live and archived video content available free, moving from the premium model (For CNN Pipeline).