It’s been four months since CNBC hired John Carney as a senior editor for its website.Since then, Carney has been writing up a storm for CNBC.com and appearing regularly on air. But what the network really hired him to do is start a blog, which is something Carney proved to be rather good at during his previous editorships at Dealbreaker and Clusterstock. (Disclosure: Carney stopped working at Business Insider before this reporter started.)
Carney and several other staffers have been populating the new blog, called NetNet, in beta over the past few weeks. It officially launches Thursday morning.
“This will be a Wall Street insider website,” said Carney during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “There’s gonna be a lot of original reporting — some high level news and also what I like to call ‘inhuman interest stories,’ like the story of the hip hop investment banker, or what kind of lunch they serve to traders at Deutsche Bank. Its’s all about, What do Wall Street professionals want to read?”
Creating an audience-driven blog, rather than one focused around a specific subject area or show, is new for CNBC.
In a way, so is the concept of blogging in general. CNBC.com has about two dozen blogs on topics ranging from stocks to media to sports business. But overall, they’re updated less than frequently, and they lack the visual appeal, interactiveness and branding that make successful blogs tick.
NetNet, on the other hand, has velocity. And it looks nice. And there are key bloggy elements like daily roundups and snark and a tips line. In other words, it’s a strong brand in and of itself.
Meredith Stark, vice president and executive producer of CNBC.com, tells us there’s more of that to come.
“We are rolling out John’s blog with a new look and feel, but that will be rolled out to our other blogs, too,” she said. “For us, [NetNet] is an extension of what we’ve already been doing.”
CNBC declined to offer traffic numbers since NetNet, which also features contributions from Kate Kelly, Herb Greenberg and other CNBC staffers, is “still in its infancy.” But CNBC.com had about 5.2 million unique visitors in August, according to comScore. On the business side, NetNet is not targeting Wall Street-specific advertisers at the moment, “but that is to come,” said Stark.
NetNet enters an online financial news space that’s becoming increasingly crowded. There’s Dealbreaker. There’s Clusterstock. The New York Times’ is expanding DealBook. Forbes.com is ramping up its blogs. Yahoo Finance is on the verge of launching a blog. And so on.
But Carney said he welcomes the competition. (As do we!)
“The more we get people trained that this is how they will get the best kind of business news — online, in a blog format that’s frequently updated — I think that’s good for all of us. The audience for business news is growing, and particularly for financial news. People who didn’t care a few years ago about reading about Wall Street really care now.”
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