CNN.com Looks for Love

The relatively new head of CNN.com says readers visit the site, “more out of habit than they do out of love.” And it’s KC Estenson‘s job to try and change that.

The NYTimes’ Brian Stelter interviews Estenson and takes an up-close look at CNN.com. Stelter writes, “Last year, MSNBC drew more users but CNN kept them on the site longer. If Mr. Estenson can lower the bounce rate, he can further increase page views, potentially reaping millions more in ad dollars.”

And while their newsrooms are separated by several floors at Atlanta’s CNN Center, CNN.com and CNN TV continue to integrate their operations:

For years, the site was largely independent of the television network. CNN.com would receive video from TV crews, for instance, but only after the made-for-TV segment had been pieced together. Now, production is concurrent for each platform and stories often appear first online. Alex Wellen, an editor on the politics site of CNN.com, said that integration was a struggle.

“It’s a very complicated thing to integrate newsrooms, to change people’s job descriptions, and to establish trust across multiple platforms,” he says. “The challenge is herculean.”

Stelter writes, in 2000 former CNN News group chairman Tom Johnson said the Web would be “one of the most – if not the most – important parts” of the brand’s future. “We will be a ubiquitous service,” he said.

Earlier: WebNewser’s interview with KC Estenson at CES

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