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CNNfn.com To Launch New Navigation Service, Mulls IPO

CNNfn.com, the online component of the CNNfn television network, will launch a new search and navigation service in the next two months offering a variety of financial news and information.

News of the new site comes on the same day that reports surfaced saying CNN parent Time Warner may be weighing an initial public offering of its Internet holdings. However, company officials told The Wall Street Journal the plan is still being debated and is not imminent.

Lou Dobbs, CNN Financial News president, said the navigation service will give users access to financial news and information of all types as well as a variety of tools. CNNfn.com has recently signed a number of partnerships, adding Power Shopper on fn, which is powered by Inktomi Corp.'s shopping engine and a bond center.

The new site will be a stand-alone service, although links will be built throughout CNNfn.com. Rich Zahradnik, CNNfn's director of special strategic studies and projects, will head up the new venture. Zahradnik was the executive in charge of the site when it launched in 1995.

Company insiders say CNNfn.com is the most logical choice for a public offering since it is currently profitable. The site generates an annual profit of about $5 million for Time Warner

A number of other Time Warner divisions are also moving quickly to expand their Internet offerings. Warner Brothers just launched Entertaindom and the company is reportedly planning another news-oriented site.

Time Warner hopes to follow the success of CBS Marketwatch has climbed close to $100 a share since going public in January at $17.



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