Nightly Business' Web Presence Sheds Light on Brand

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Since 1994 as the first business news broadcaster on an AOL of only 300,000 registered users, the Nightly Business Report has found varying ways to represent its brand on the Web.

The independently distributed business and economic news show with 2.6 million viewers joined Public Broadcasting Service  last year. In addition to being supported and distributed by PBS, the show transitioned its Web site to meet PBS standards.

"Our goal [with the Web site] is not to be a financial portal but to be a resource and provide deeper understanding and tools and information," said Lynne M. Tierney, consulting director of new media at Nightly Business Report, Miami. "We aim to leverage on-air content in order to provide off-air opportunities to our viewers. It's about going beyond what's on the top of the news."

The NBR site at www.pbs.org/nbr features RSS feeds; background information on aired broadcasts; financial tools, including stock information and charts; and Robert Drach's model portfolio and other commentary from business professionals.

Internet development company Engine Interactive worked with NBR on the site redesign.

"We came up with a design that ... captures the look and feel of the show but also provides the regular viewer the supplemental information they are looking for," said Robin Naughton, founder and chief creative officer at Engine Interactive, Seattle.

NBR's site does not profit from page views directly. Instead, it aims to serve longtime viewers and recruit new fans of the show by using the Web to increase its brand exposure and reach.

"We're not trying to collect names," Ms. Tierney said when asked about promotional drives or e-mail newsletters for the site.

She said that 57 percent of visitors are repeat visitors, and a majority of them spend more than 12 minutes on the site. The site recruits visitors through the television broadcast, the PBS search engine and tie-ins with other PBS pages.

NBR may pursue online video and mobile technology to engage viewers with other channels in the future. The broadcast's character is one of constant innovation and improvement, Ms. Tierney said.

"We've always seen ourselves as entrepreneurial and scrappy," she said.

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