NBC spins Web version

'Nightly News' casts about for online aud

NEW YORK — NBC News will offer its flagship “Nightly News With Brian Williams” online, in its entirety, in a bid to broaden the audience for the newscast.

It will be made available along with an archive of previous newscasts at the Web address of nightlynews.msnbc.com starting Nov. 7 after it clears West Coast affiliates at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET.

“I sense today that despite all the obits about the 6:30 evening newscasts, there is a yearning for a half-hour of serious, condensed news,” said “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams. “We want as many sets of eyeballs as we can get.”

Evening news audiences have been in steady decline since the early ’80s due to a variety of factors, not least of which is the shift in American society to laborlater hours, meaning many potential news watchers are either at work or commuting during the 6:30 newscasts.

“I hear it everywhere from well-meaning, loyal viewers: They say, ‘I’d love to watch,’ but the pressures on the American family during what we used to call the ‘dinner hour’ prevent it,” Williams said. “This new service reflects the fact that the pace of our lives has changed.”

Williams is personally invested in reaching an online audience — he updates his newscast blog at dailynightly.msnbc.com on a daily basis.

The decision to rebroadcast “Nightly News” online required the consent of affiliates, which had to be persuaded the move would not cannibalize the first-run of the newscast, and MSNBC, which ostensibly provides the 24-hour cable news for those who want to watch news throughout the evening.

The newscast will be available for viewing just as it appeared on network television except the segments will be broken up and separated by one advertisement of either 15 or 20 seconds in length.

NBC is the first to offer its full evening newscast online, though others, such as CBSNews.com, CNN.com and ABCNews.com allow users to watchsegments separately.

CBSNews.com offers a three-segment version of its evening newscast online each night and offers the other segments individually.

MSNBC.com offers segments of all its news offerings including “Nightly,” “Today,” “Dateline” and “Meet the Press.”

MSNBC.com, a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal, is the largest news site on the Web with 23 million monthly visitors.

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