Over the past 18 months, AOL (NYSE: TWX) has proven willing to break a few molds. This time, it’s rebuilding its news site — until now part of the portal cookie-cutter set — into a bloggy/Web 2.0ish version. The main news column literally is in blog format with links to full coverage, comments, polls, etc. The actual launch is scheduled for Tuesday; the beta is here. Lewis D’Vorkin, SVP-AOL News and Sports, is following on the blog-style format used with raging success TMZ.com, an AOL JV with sibling Warner Bros.
Unlike its gossipy counterpart, AOL is losing audience. It still claims to be in the top four news sites with 19.1 million monthly uniques in May, according to comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) Media Metrix, but it has been losing ground; that number represents a 12 percent drop. This is the best shot for a boost — beyond the kind of major event that ups all numbers.
Reuters: D’Vorkin said the ability to personalize the news page will come in the next two to three months, using technology the company acquired from Relegence, a financial news services company. (Rafat adds: Glad to see they’re putting that almost-forgotten acquisition to some use.) AOL’s sports site will also relaunch later this week following a similar design model.