CNN.com Redesign Adds Opinion Section, Content Partners

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CNN's revamped Web site -- set to launch Monday, Oct. 26 -- will add customization features, highlight video and photography, and deliver new feature-oriented content, including an opinion section and an expanded partnership with Oprah.com.

CNN.com senior vice president and general manager K.C. Estenson touted the makeover as "a total reimagining of CNN.com... the breadth and depth of the new site will give users a fresh new way to experience CNN's content."

Turner Broadcasting System's CNN.com is one of the biggest news sites on the Internet, garnering 33.4 million unique visitors in August 2009, up 3.7% from the year earlier, according to Internet measurement firm comScore.

The redesigned site is intended to look less cluttered, with video and photography as the "centerpiece" on the homepage above the fold. Personalization tools let users customize the homepage with weather and local headlines, stock quotes and sports scores. Another new feature is NewsPulse, described as "an iTunes for news," which lets users see the most popular articles and videos at a glance, search for any topic or keyword, and sort by popularity, number of comments, or by time published.

The new CNN Opinion section will include text and video commentaries from guest contributors as well as network talent. New regular contributors to this section include David Frum, a Canadian-born conservative journalist, and actor and comedian John Leguizamo.

CNN will expand its partnership with Oprah.com -- for example, the site will host a 90-minute live, interactive webcast of Oprah's Book Club on Nov. 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET -- and is providing new content from technology-conference producer TED as well as Time Warner Inc.'s People and EW magazines.

The iReport.com "citizen journalist" site, launched three years ago, is being fully integrated into the new CNN.com as a new section that will feature a curated section front, programmed by CNN producers. User submissions "will be clearly labeled when vetted and cleared for reporting on CNN," according to the company.

Other new content includes two Web-only first-person "mini-documentaries": Americans in Afghanistan, a series produced by two U.S. citizens working for non-profit organizations in that country; and The Handsome Furs Tour Asia, in which the indie rock-band husband-and-wife team of Dan Boeckner and Alexei Cox Perry document their visits to China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand.

Finally, the new site will include CNN Challenge, an online news trivia game about top stories of the week featuring CNN personalities such as Larry King, Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper. about top stories of the week.

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